Roshan The Actor

By Ruwini Jayawardana.

The Aasai Mang Piyambanna star sheds light in his flight to fame
There is no doubt about it. His striking features and killer smile can give any superstar a run for his money. The role of the romantic hero fits him like a glove as it does to SRK, Hrithik Roshan, Brad Pitt and Leonardo di Caprio. Roshan Ranawana, the dazzling youth of the silver screen, spills his thoughts in an exclusive interview with Art & Soul.

Roshan-the actor
How did you start off as an actor?
I had no plans to join the cinema scene. It was my mother who filled and sent the application for Udayakantha Warnasuriya's Hiripoda Vessa.

At one period local films were made just for the sake of making films. They were low quality and shooting was concluded in five or six days. Later some good directors joined in and now some interesting films have come up.

The cinema industry is once again on an upward climb. Recal your first experience in front of a camera. What was the scene and how did you feel?
It was a part of a dance item which I did with the other leading actors. It is a scene in the theme song.
I have done commercials before so I was used to posing in front of cameras.
However it was a challenge to work with a director of repute in one of his biggest projects.

supportive are your family and friends?
My mother is the driving force behind all my achievements. She has paved the way for me. I became Mr. Sri Lanka in 2002 due to her influence. I represented Sri Lanka in the 'Man Hunt International' Competition in China and won seventh place.

Next I took part in the 'Mr World' contest in England and the 'Grassime International' competition in 2003. I was elected for the 'Best Model of the World' contest in 2003 and clinched third place and I was amongst the 10 finalists in the 'Mr. International' competition in 2006. Honestly I am a person who is a bit towards the negative side and a bit backward.

Tell us about your roles related to the small screen.
My first tele drama is Vasuda. Then I took part in a few other creations like Sanda Nudutu Sanda, Gama Thamath Sundarai Revathi, Sonduru Ruwathiya, Kavya etc.
Dhammika Siriwardena's Sindangana is coming up.

What are the future films in store for you?
We have completed shooting Sanjaya Nirmal's Rosa Kelae. I act opposite another Indian actress named Monica in that. It will be released next year. Shooting has yet to commence in Suranga de Alwis' Prema Poojasanaya and Buddhi Keerthisena's 'Pale Blue'. 'Pale Blue' is an action drama.

Rosa Kelae provided a totally new experience for me. I loved it because I had to work with 35 children. It was family oriented and we had a lot of fun on and off the set.

Though Monica is only 19 she is a very experienced actress. She had been in the field since she was four. My heart felt heavy once the shooting concluded. I miss the kids and our time together.

If you were given a chance to portray any character in any film which existed so far which would you choose?

(Smiling) I have a passion to portray James Bond.

Movie wise
How is the response for Praveen's role?
Quite good. Aasai Mang Piyambanna brought the highest income brought by a film in Sri Lankan history in its first two weeks. That itself shows the public's interest towards the movie.

Let us have a close look at your roles in your three movies so far. Prageeth (Hiri- poda Vessa), Mahasen (Tharaka Mal) and Praveen (Aasai Mang Piyambanna). Handsome, rich, town bread guys who strike a relationship with the leading actress(es) of the movie. Are you going to limit your talents to these roles?
(Smiling) Yes, I know what you are getting at. These roles are designed by the directors. They were all good and interesting movies. My fans will see me in different roles in the movies scheduled for the future.

Tell us about Pooja.
That was the first time I got a chance to act with an Indian actress. She is friendly, professional and it was very easy working with her. There was a lot to learn from her. Any memorable moments on set which you can recall?

Mmm... We went through a tough period while shooting Aasai Mang Piyambanna. It was raining hard and both Pooja and I became ill but all the hard work was worthwhile as the final results were fruitful.

Roshan-the youth
Describe yourself in three words.
Sensitive... sensitive... very sensitive...(thinking) independent and lovable.

If you were given a chance to start all over again would you still choose to be an actor?
Yeah. I wanted to become a scientist during school time but destiny did not allow me to become one. I want to be a better actor than I am at present.

How do you spend your leisure time?

I go to the gym, watch a movie or go on a trip with my friends.

Is there anything you do as a habit?
I think I blink my eyes too much! And I run my hands through my hair on both sides in front of a mirror before going out.

What scares you most?
Rats and firecrackers! Any thing which makes a huge racket. An article once stated that I am scared of leeches but that is wrong. I am not scared of them. I had to flip one off my shoulder in one of my movies.

Are you involved in any type of social activity?
I am a member of the Leo Club, Wellawatta. We are still in the process of organising a programme targeted at helping people who are in need. I would like to invite people to help us by joining us in this worthy cause.

Love wise

Tell me about your first love experience.
(Grinning) I have had crushes but I have never had an affair. I have moved around with lots of girls during school time but they were all good friends.

I am very serious on the matter of love. It is no joke. I wish to have a steady relationship which eventually ends in marriage. I am waiting for the right girl. Right now my career is my main focus. I want to excel in that area.

Do you believe that love is a once-in-a-life experience?
Yes, it needs to be like that but yet again it does not always happen in that way for everyone. If you do not recognise it properly it can end in disaster.

Are you a romantic person?
(Shrugging) I don't know...(coyly) I might be if I have the right person by my side (laughs). I really don't know. I haven't got that experience yet.

What characteristics do you look for in your future partner?
Understanding, honesty, kindness... and she should possess a very soft heart.

Most local and foreign stars hesitate to bring their partners into the limelight because they are afraid of losing their fans. Do you share this opinion?

No, I don't. If you look at celebrities like Shah Ruk Khan and Hrithik Roshan they are married and have kids. Their fan base has not declined.

What is the nicest thing a fan had done for you?
Every time a photo of mine appears on a cover page or article, one of my fans sends me a pencil sketch of exactly the same picture. I have framed them and kept them in my room. It is very touching.

What do you have to say to your fans?
My fans give me strength and courage. They mean a lot to me and I love them a lot. They are the ones who have brought me success and my journey in the field will be decided by them. If you see me please come and speak with me. I am not a proud person.