AISH: Sinhala cinema’s newest star; Makes acting debut in ‘Pani Makuluwo’
Aishara (AISH) Athukorala is the newest heroine to enter the Sinhala movie world with her debut project ‘Pani Makuluwo’ which is being picturised now.
The well known model turned actress, speaking to Daily Mirror for the first time about her acting debut, said acting was her passion but she would not pursue a career as a professional actress.
“Acting will always be something I cherish so I will only doing roles that I could appreciate and relive them when I watch it one day even after retirement” says Aish.
Q: How did this maiden film acting offer in ‘Pani Makuluwo’ come your way?
In fact ‘Pani Makuluwo’ came to me through Deneth de Silva who plays the young man's role in the movie. But I got to know him long ago; as a super model. Then it was Udara Palliyaguru who selected me for the role I played in the movie and it was directed by Isuru Mudali. I play the role of veteran actor Sanath Gunathilake’s wife in the movie and it was indeed a huge advantage for me. As a senior artist he was extremely helpful and it's always very beneficial for you if you have an experienced actor playing opposite you. It was also one major reason why I decided to do this movie as much as I liked the theme of the movie which conveys an importantmessage to women out there. Today gullible women easily get trapped in this online scenario especially due to abuse on social media and eventually ruin their future. It is actually an ongoing issue which needs more attention.
Working in my first film was a great experience and obviously a great learning process. I have realised there's so much more to learn about acting.
Q: You are also a lawyer?
I went London for my higher studies and I finished LLB in law there. After living there for 12 years I came back to Sri Lanka in 2014. My initial plan was only to join Law college in Sri Lanka to finish with the exams in order to practise here as a lawyer. I did join the law college and managed to finish the first load of the exams but Ihave more left to do which I hope to accomplish in the future.
Q: Do you enjoy modeling?
Of course. During my stay in here I didn't at any point plan to be a model But I'm loving it now. I enjoy working as a ramp model as well as modeling for fashion photography. I only work with professionals in the field and it has given me good results so far. I was always getting good comments and gradually I was getting tv commercials and areas where acting prowess was inevitable. I was offered a tv programme in Swarnavahini , where I get to interview artistes. That's when I realized how important it is to be natural in front of the camera. I took part in workshop conducted by seniors artistes Ms Anoja Weerasighe and also Mahedra Perera. I have alsolaunched by own clothing line called "Aish clothing" .
Q: Your passion for movies?
I always liked watching movies. It was my hobby but now I have developed a habit of watching a movie everyday before I retire to bed. Obviously I was exposed to Hollywood ovies when in London, but I never lost touch with our own movies. I have watched Samanala Sandhwaniya, Agni Dahaya and even Viragaya in which Sanath Gunathilake plays an outstanding role.
Let’s get into action now: Sanath
We also spoke to veteran actor Sanath Gunathilake to get his views about his new movie and the current status of the movie industry.
“ I had the same reason as Aish did, in deciding to do this movie, I was impressed by the message it gave to society. This is based on a tragic situation facing our society today. Though I had to starve to look weak and lean in Viragaya which was praised by Aish, I had to appear bigger and fatter for the role in this movie. But losing weight that I gained is not going to be an easy task. This is the price that actors have to pay, so it’s fine by me."
Q: What have you got to say about the newest star Aish?
She is a promising new actress - I don't think it's a good idea to talk about her acting capacity yet, as this is her first movie. But what I liked about her was that she took this work very seriously, she didn't want any glamour in the movie, probably because she has already experienced it in large doses. All she wanted was to do her act properly in the role she played. I was impressed when she told me she had read novels including Viragaya too. That showed her intellectual prowess too, which most young generation people lack today.
Q: Any plans to start a new film project?
Not one, I have a few ideas in mind but the biggest hurdle is not the making of a movie but the hazardous and agonizing phase one has to face when getting a film released. I am seriously interested in a another Emile Zola novel, but we will have to wait and see. I am also concerned about the opportunities that young filmmakers are not getting in this country today. There are several young filmmakers who have made experimental movies, but they cant get those released here. It’s so tragic.
Q: What’s the cause for this situation?
We must draw up a national film policy. That’s the key. We have spoken about film issues for years and years. But nothing has fallen into place. Leave alone digitalization, even other areas have been neglected. We have to act fast and focus on long term and short term goals to overcome the issues. On the other hand producers don’t come forward to invest money in films because they have been cheated by some of our filmmakers. Not only producers, even the filmgoers have been cheated by them.
Q: How can we overcome the situation?
We must understand that a country has other priority areas like health, education and agriculture, but since we have a deputy minister like Karunaratne Paranavithana in charge of this subject with his experience as media ministry secretary , I feel he should initiate a programme to solve this issue. Taliing alone won’t do because we have been talking about it for so long. We need action now. Solving these film industry issues will be a meritorious deed.