One Single wish! | Daily News


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One Single wish!

Big surprises come in small packages. The ideal case in point could well be Irudini Umali Thilakaratne. She is an actress, vocalist and dancer all rolled into one. A past pupil of Musaeus College, Colombo, Umali had been seen in a handful of productions in the past.

Though she made only a few appearances on screen, her face lingers in your mind. It is a little known fact that her dream was to become a psychologist some day. She studied the subject for two years under the Institute of Psychological Studies. She is also keen on Language Studies. Japanese is her forte. She had even portrayed the lead role in the Japanese movie 'The Final Judgment' and a significant role in the Italian production 'Mother Theresa of Kolkata'. Umali is the wife of popular actor Saranga Dissasekara.

Q: How do you start your day?

A: When Saranga is at home, he is the first person I see when I open my eyes. I greet him 'Good morning' and give him a kiss.

Q: What do you do when you are sad?

A: I mostly cry my sorrow away. Then after a good cry, I am almost back to normal again. Then I think over the matter and how to deal with the issue.

Q: Are you a party animal or a couch potato?

A: I would like to stay at home and read a book if I get some free time. However if I get some off time in the evening, I like to be with friends and loved ones. I enjoy parties. I love dancing.

Q: Why are you passionate about learning foreign languages?

A: I can speak Sinhala, English, Japanese and a bit of Hindi. Each language is unique and beautiful.

I learnt Japanese mostly due to my father's influence. He has a lot of Japanese friends. They used to send me a lot of presents when I was a child. I was so touched by their kindness. I remember that I used to wish that I knew a way to communicate with them so that I can express my gratitude.

I would like to master Hindi and Tamil next.

Q: How did you spend your last birthday?

A: My wedding anniversary was just two days before my birthday. I visited Kandy on that day because Saranga had shooting there.

We visited the Temple of the Tooth Relic together. On returning home I found out that my mother-in-law had arranged a surprise birthday party for me! (Laughs)I was truly surprised and touched.

Q: What is your favourite kind of outfit?

A: Anything that suits me. I go for clothes that I am comfortable in. It also depends on the occasion. If it is a gala event for all the stars in the field, then it would most likely be a saree. I wear long dresses too for functions and parties.

Q: What is the best and worst thing about Saranga?

A: (Giggles) Saranga is a gentle person. He is so loving and caring. I love those qualities in him. (Pauses and thinks for a while) The worst thing would probably be that he is so busy. Sometimes the hectic lifestyle we lead gets into him and stresses him out.

Q: What kind of food do you dislike?

A: I don't hate any particular food. Food does not come easily for many people in the world. There are many who are starving due to poverty. I am a vegetarian and have been so since I was 10 years old. There is no particular reason for me to turn vegetarian. It just happened. I think I am blessed to be able to have food on my plate during meal times everyday.

Q: Do you think Sinhala cinema has not made full use of your acting talents?

A: Talent varies. You do not know your capacity unless you are given the opportunity to showcase it. I did not push anyone to cast me for any characters and I did not try to make connections with the big shots in the industry for the same reason.

Opportunities came my way but my main focus was on my studies and I wanted to do diverse roles. I was also not in Sri Lanka for a long span. Therefore some director did not get the opportunity to cast me in their productions. It is true that I did not take part in many movies but I am happy with the roles I did.

Q: Is there a question that you are fed up of answering?

A: Not really. But there are some questions that I have been frequently asked. One such is how I entered the industry. Another is how I met Saranga. But there are some silly questions I have been asked like if I feel jealous when I see Saranga romancing another actress on screen. I know about the nature of his profession and the industry. Therefore why should I feel insecure?

Q: Three style secrets that you would like to share with others.

A: 1) Cleanliness matters a lot to maintain your beauty. So always remove your make up before going to bed.

2) Do not diet but eat just the right amount to fill your tummy.

3) Cut down on junk food. Saranga and I have cut down our starch intake to maintain a healthy life. Minimize your intake in fizzy drinks. King coconut is very good for your skin.

Q: Who is your best friend in the industry?

A: I didn't get the opportunity to make a lot of close friends in the industry. Almost all the second generation artistes have been supportive towards me. Meeting Pooja (Umashanker) akki was one of the highlights of my career. She inspired and gave me a lot of sound advice. She is such a warm hearted person. She greets me warmly whenever we bump into each other. Upeksha (Swarnamali) akki too is dear to me. We were like sisters when we acted in 'Aasai Mang Piyambanna' and that bond remains even today though we do not hang out together.

I really love chatting with Kishani Alanki as well. She has a good educational background and has knowledge about the society. Yashodha Wimaladharma, Damitha Abeyratne and Sangeetha Weeraratne too have been supportive. We maintain a good rapport with everyone in the industry.

Q: If you were given an opportunity to fulfill three wishes, what would you wish for?

A: (Pauses and thinks hard) One wish is enough for me. I would wish for all my dreams to come true in one single wish! (Giggles mischievously)

Q: Is there something you do as a habit?

A: Like brushing my teeth? (Laughs) No, I do not have any particular habits.

Q: What are you involved in at the moment?

A: I just finished shooting for a film. It is called 'Heena Hoyana Samanallu' and is directed by Rohan Perera. It is a children's movie and I play the main role as a teacher there. I also acted in the teledrama named 'Bohemiyanuwa' directed by Namal Jayasinghe which is being telecast these days.

My character is called Nuri. Sanjaya Nirmal's 'Prana' is another teledrama which I was involved in. My character is named Tharuka. It has a life and death theme.

Another movie is in the pipeline. It is by Nalin Mapitiya. Both Saranga and I will be acting in it. 

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