Interview With Sri Lankan Great Actor - Saumya Liyanage

How is shooting in Boodee Keerthisena's Nimnayaka Hudakalawa (Solitude in a valley) coming along?

There are still two more scenes to be shot to conclude. The editing process is underway. My character in this film is a completely different leap from Aba. Nimnayaka Hudakalawa is a psychological thriller based on the sub conscience of the character. Though Boodee is well versed in cinema he kept on mentioning that the film provided an entirely new experience to him.

Boodee decided on me for the lead after seeing me in Vijitha Gunaratne's Vala Patala.

Tell us about your role in the Sri Lanka-Germany-Italy co-production Machan.

I acted a small part in Uberto Pasolini's movie which was screened at the 65th Venice Film Festival. We travelled around the island looking for suitable locations and actors. I enjoyed acting in the movie and did not mind the scope of the role.

You have made a name for yourself as an excellent character actor.

(Smiling)I see acting as a science You need some academic training and it is a lifetime process. The theatre is my laboratory. The spirit of acting generates from the theatre and I use a lot of techniques I experimented on stage.

I am working on two theatre productions, Aapahu Harenna Behe (No Return) produced by Rajitha Dissanayake and a collection of short plays titled Sihina Rangahala. 'No Return' will go on boards the Lumbini theatre on September 29 at 4 p.m. and is targeted at the undergraduates of the University of Visual and Performing Arts.

What do you look for in your characters?

I am not a professional actor so when I receive a script I go through it thoroughly. There may be a lot of personal and ideological reasons to choosing a character but at the moment my choices are results of my preference. It should be a text which could develop a discussion among masses.

Would you also turn director in the near future?

Most people have questioned about that but I still have so many things to experience in acting. Directing is an entirely different element from acting. I hope to take up the matter and start off with a theater direction with my father. Hopefully we will be able to engage in the project next year.

Is there any hope for Aksharaya (Letter of Fire)?

That is a very pathetic situation. We have made appeals which have fallen on deaf ears. Handagama had gone back to France to edit the movie into a different version but DVDs of the movie had already leaked out. The movie will be released in Europe soon.

What are your hopes for Aba as the movie passes its 50th day on screen? Will you be a part of the cast to its sequel?

We have achieved our goals and I wish to thank everyone who contributed to the production. We enjoyed making the movie. I will definitely be a part of the sequel if a different version of Habara will be presented to me.