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 Post subject: Yashoda Wimaladharma
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 5:12 am 
Yours sincerely, Yashoda

By Ramesh Uvais
Daily Mirror; 28MAR2005

If there existed a film dictionary, 'innocence' would probably be defined as Yashoda Wimaladharma who has stolen the hearts of tens of thousands of filmgoers with her endearing and emotional roles in popular movies and tele dramas.

Yashoda is undoubtedly one of the most lovable girls in showtown. Her expressive eyes and luminous smile always strike us as her immediate asset.

The St. Paul’s Milagiriya old girl and girl guide has proven time and again that she is not averse to taking on glamour roles if only they added to the strength of her character and diversity of her acting prowess.

Yasho, as she is lovingly known in film and tele world, is indeed an interviewer’s delight provided you can pin her down.

In one of Yashoda's passionate interviews with Daily Mirror Life, the award-winning actress is opening up her heart prior to the release of 'Guerilla Marketing', which is perhaps the next big thing to happen in the 'Lux' girl's life.

Today you are ranked as one of the topmost actresses in the Sinhala cinema. Yashoda, is being a star an easy job?

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“No, it isn't. It has taken twenty years for me to reach this position today through sheer hard work and dedication to my work. I started as a child artiste and I had to concentrate on my studies too at the same time. It was indeed tough. I am a strong believer that education is a must for any career. I am studying even now and I see no end to seeking knowledge. Being in the limelight is not easy at all. You have to be extra-careful and tactful in whatever you do. But I treat this as a blessing. I am one who never dreamt of becoming an actress, not even in my widest dreams. It was my late father Ravilal Wimaladharma who persuaded me to take up acting. I guess he must have seen some hidden talents in me as a child.

Do you agree that there is a crisis in the Sinhala cinema industry today?

"I don't see a major crisis as such apart from the fact that we lack good scripts and a fresh outlook. We are a small industry competing with a giant world. Unfortunately we are caged within a small market. But still we have proven to the world that we possess capable film personalities who have been acclaimed globally. The need of the hour is to seek a market outside Sri Lanka.

We were blessed with a golden era in the seventies up to the early eighties but from thereon there was a drastic drop in quality. Most of the films that were made after the mid eighties had lost the entertainment values and failed to portray our own identity. This is how the crisis emerged. We can overcome this through unity, hardwork and of course support from the State.

It is tragic that this industry though in existence for more than 50 years, has not been registered under the entertainment business. Movie making has been rated as the seventh best form of art in the world but it is pathetic that we are not focusing much on this industry. We are all of the belief that the country needs a national film policy and the government should push for it to rescue the Sinhala cinema industry. Cinema is probably the only form of art that is capable of showcasing our culture and traditional values to the outer world.

How do you differentiate between commercial and art films?

“I don't like to categorize cinema in that manner. In my view if people are drawn to the movie halls and if the film makes money, any film is a commercial venture. Some films have more entertainment while others take a more serious approach but you can't slot them. After all a film is a commercial project and at the same time is artistic in its own way.

Are you choosy about your roles?

“Yes, I am selective with my roles. I prefer roles with substance, which can give the people a message. There is a strong feeling within me that my capabilities have not been extracted fully by our film makers, except a few who have certainly got the best of me.

Do you have any idea of directing or producing a film in the near future?

"Well, as I told you I feel that there is some more that I could contribute to the cinema by way of acting. When I am satisfied that I've done that, I might or I will move towards direction.

You are also emerging as a lyricist.

Actually I have been writing ever since I was a child. I did languages at the ALs and I took Hindi as my main subject. I was naturally sharing a love for literature and along with that came a flair for writing. I had written a lot all for myself. Penning songs came as a coincidence. One of my close friends Dayan Witharana asked me if I could pen a song for him when he was to launch his maiden cassette. That's how I became a lyricist. I penned a song for Dayan's latest cassette too.

Before we fire some personal missiles at you, why don't you tell us something about your role in the much-hyped Jayantha Chandrasiri film 'Guerrilla Marketing' which is due to hit the big screen in May.

"I must tell you that the film is definitely going to create waves. Director Jayantha Chandrasiri is a person who has the knack to extract the best from any actor or actress. I met him for the first time while on the Rajina sets and later joined his 'Agni Dahaya' cast. I was the newest member to join his team, which already had Kamal Addararachchi, Sriyantha Mendis and Jackson Anthony. Later it was Sangeetha who joined that family.

“The role of Suramya symbolizes our tradition and our roots. She has access to the world. She has studied internationally and knows what is globalization. She tries to reach the world carrying our own identity. The film has four main characters played by Kamal, Sangeetha, Jackson and myself.

“Working under Jayantha gives you a feeling that you are in an acting school and I personally learnt a lot through the character of Suramya which is a spiritual character. I also learnt a lot about life through Suramya. I wish I could be Suramya in real life. Jayantha has done a remarkable job with Guerrilla Marketing and we are going to see the results of our hard work before long.

Are you a spiritual person?

To a certain extent I should say yes. I value my roots, traditions and culture. I was certainly inspired by my father Ravilal Wimaladharma and mother Mallika Wimaladharma.

If you were given a choice between a great career and a good husband, what would you choose? (We expect her to edit her words but Yashoda only smiles responding instantly)

"Shall I be honest," the smile plays around her mouth. "Honestly, I would choose a great career. Choosing a husband would mean choosing a partner for life. I am here today because of my career which began as a child. I learnt about people and complex human relationships through this career.

Some months ago you told us that, fortunately or unfortunately you had not found your right partner yet. Has the position changed now?

"Fortunately or unfortunately, no. As a good Buddhist I believe in fate and I know that everything will happen according to the good and bad deeds we have done in our previous births. So, we'll wait and see," she laughs.

Those who know Yasho well would attest that she's a dedicated, concerned and loving daughter who went and still goes that extra mile almost single-handedly to make her parents happy. Yashoda's 'thaththa' - the well-known Professor in Hindi is no more. But his loving 'Putha'(Yashoda) will always remember him with gratitude for what she has achieved in life.

Behind Yashoda's pretty face lies a strong mind, which is definitely capable of taking her places. That's the real Yashoda Wimaladhrama minus her make up.


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