Umayangana Unraveled

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She’s cute. She’s energetic and she’s blessed with beauty and talent in abundance. She is Sri Lanka’s charming Teledrama actress Umayangana Wickramasinghe. After her appearance in the teledrama “Katu Imbula” directed by Sudath Rohana, she was instantaneously shot to stardom. The jewel in the crown of the successes the followed being, winning the Most Popular Teledrama Actress award at the Sumathi awards in 2010.


Q: I am sure our readers are eager to read about you. Can you tell us about your childhood?

I was born in Borella. My primary education was at Ragama Basilica College. Later I joined St. Paul’s Milagiriya for my Advance Level studies.  I followed science subjects for my A/L and later followed a pharmacist course which was conducted by The Ministry of Health Care and Nutrition. I was an active member in most of the societies during school, when I was in both primary and secondary classes. I was a good artist as well, but I would say my real talent lay in my ability to write.


Q: We came to know that your parents supported you greatly during your schooling period as well as after your career took off. Tell us about your parents.

I consider my family as my most valued possession. My father, Sunil Wickramasinghe was employed at Sri Lanka Railways and my mother, Anula Kanthi Kumari worked at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in the 1970s. They were my strength from the very beginning. Because of my mother’s contacts, I was able to meet people in the teledrama field frequently. She was always behind me in and guided me during script selection and choosing my fields. She passed away last year. Now my father has taken her place and accompanies me and helps with everything I do.

Q: Every individual has a childhood ambition. What was your ambition and when did you discover your presentation or acting talent?

To be honest, my ambition was to first become a doctor. But, I think, heart of hearts, I had an attraction to become a public figure. I discovered this when I was schooling. Actually, it was discovered by one of my school teachers- Mr. Dickson Antony. It was he who told me that I had a special talent in literary and writing skills. So he encouraged me to improve this skill and participate in various activities and competitions.


Q: At which stage did you decide to become a public figure or if I ask you in the other way, when did you discover that acting is your desire?

Well during my early years, I was engaged in extracurricular activities just like everyone else. But, when Mr. Antony pointed out my special ability I began to focus and concentrate a bit more on aesthetic and literary activities. Amongst these things, I realized I had a natural inclination towards news reading. After my Advanced level, first I followed a pharmacist course focusing on a career related to my A/L stream. But, my dream was to be involved in news reading, so I enrolled in a journalism course at NIIT. At one point of my course period, I was selected as the best news reader at NITT and it reinforced the fact that my skill lay in this field. When my mother realized the talent I had she supported me in every way possible so that I would be able to realize my dream.

Q: How did you get your news reading chance?

I got most these opportunities thanks to my mother. But before I got involved with news reading I had to face many interviews and screen tests. Then I was selected to be a new presenter at Derana TV where I worked for one year before joining Sri Satellite TV. I continued working there for nine years, until last year, when I found that I was unable to stick with the schedule along with my teledrama shootings. So, I had to resign my job with a heavy heart.


Q: While concentrating on news reading, how did you get the acting chance and what was your first tele drama?

My first tele drama was Katu Imbula which was directed by Sudath Rohana. I got this chance after facing the screen test.

Q: According to your theory, how would you describe “acting”?

Acting means, “Doing a character role which the audiences know, but without showing them that we are acting. They should see us as that character”. It is not an easy task unless you are fully invested in it and get into character.

(Contd. in Jan. 2015 Issue )

By: Sujitha Miranda


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