From ramp to reel | Daily News

From ramp to reel

With a dream of a cinematic debut Anuj Ranasinghe was the man of the moment when ‘Me Wage Adarayak’ hit the screens. The film directed by seasoned filmmaker Chandran Rutnam paved way for a long journey in showbiz for the youth who was already a known face in the fashion scene.

His sweeping entry, easy charm and on-point wit left all floored. Soon ‘Wassanaye Sanda’, ‘Goree’, and ‘Sedha Mawathe’ followed. His latest film ‘Sheleena’ hit the wide screen recently.

“ I play Suraj, the misery CID officer’s role. What captivated me is how unpredictable his character is throughout the movie. It helped me to venture beyond the stereotype role of the lover boy into the shoes of a psychopath serial killer. Since I look to portray diverse roles, I loved the script and my character. I got a lot of positive feedback. We visited some film halls to promote the film when it was screening. A fan hugged me on one such occasion in Malabe. He said that the fight scenes were amazing and that he watched the film especially because I was acting in it. Then he mimicked my stunts perfectly. That was a truly memorable experience,” Anuj recalled with a smile.

Though he started as a model, acting has always been Anuj’s passion. Stars like Vijaya Kumaratunga, Gamini Fonseka, Kamal Addararachchi and Ranjan Ramanayake have been his idols while growing up.

“I used to imitate them by trying to talk and dress like them,” he reflected with a smile.

“I got into modeling when I was around 18. I made my mark at the Best Model 2010 pageant. I clinched the Best Male Model Sri Lanka title and became the First Runners Up at the Best Male Model World held in Spain. I was new to the field so had a lot of things to learn and sacrifices to make. Getting into the field was difficult but winning titles at the pageants boosted my confidence. That was my lucky charm.”

He also made it to the top 15 at Mister International 2011 held in Thailand. He bagged the second Runners Up place at Mister Pancontinental 2015 held in Philippine and also won the mini titles Best Talent and Best National Costume at the event.

“Drink four to six liters of water daily. Running, jogging, cycling or any other sort of cardio exercise is more important than working out at the gym to keep fit. Say no to alcohol and smoking. This will help you maintain your youth and health,” Anuj shared some of his fitness secrets.

Anuj is mainly occupied with acting now. He says that being roped in for projects based on true stories excites him.

“I will be starting work on my new project ‘Maruwa Samaga Wase’ soon. It is a drama based on a true story. It is interesting to engage in research and take on such projects,” he enthused.

Though he came into the limelight through ‘Me Wage Adarayak’, Anuj revealed that he stepped into the field through the TV series ‘Sayuri’. He got the opportunity to project the most challenging scene he had played – being bound and gaged and thrown into the sea – in ‘Sayuri’. The scene had been shot in Ambalangoda and Anuj had nearly drowned while portraying the scene!

“It was a blessing to enter cinema through a director like Chandran Rutnam. He is an expert in the field and being associated with his project was a good learning curve for me. Roshan, the role I played in the film is my favourite. I have wanted to become a pilot from childhood and getting an opportunity to actually fly a plane was an amazing experience,” he mused adding that his dream role would be portraying Vijaya Kumaratunga, if a biopic of the late actor should ever happen.

“It would be a dream come true to portray him. I would be blessed and honoured to play him as he was my hero during childhood,” he added.

Queried on what the best acting advice he had gotten and Anuj says that veteran actor Cletus Mendis told him to wear a smile whenever he goes out in public, even if he was not in an enthusiastic mood. Mendis had been given those words of wisdom by Anuj’s idol, Vijaya Kumaratunga.

Apart from ‘Maruwa Samaga Wase’ two of Anuj’s films, ‘Aga Pipi Mal’ and ‘Megha’, are due to be released. He had also been roped in for a film titled ‘RED’ which will be directed by Harsha Udakanda. The team are currently looking for a producer to launch the project.

“A good training will help you brush up your skills. So I would advise anyone to join any field after a training session. Have patience.

You cannot become a star overnight. If you climb the ladder of success in a moderate and steady pace, your fortune will last for a long time. Learn from seniors and respect them,” are his words of advice to other youth who are hoping to join the field.