GIHAN FERNANDO One actor, many roles – by Sunil Thenabadu
Photo source; Watch Lanka ( https://watchlanka.com/name/Gihan-fernando )
Gihan Adrian Camil Fernando the award-winning acclaimed actor, playwright, comedian, and singer is acknowledged by those who are passionate about the theatre as a superlative and noble actor for his flamboyance. He portrays his characters so precisely and energetically gripping and embracing all audiences and leaves them spellbound.
Hailing from Wattala Gihan was educated at De Mazenod College, Kandana, where he had excelled in studies and shone as a soccer player. After leaving school he had been employed for a few years during which period he had studied about theatre under numerous foreign theatre directors through the British Council and other related places. Initially Gihan had got the opportunity to portray roles under a number of directors including the late Somalatha Subasinghe, K. B. Herath, Rajitha Dissanayake, Ravindra Ariyaratne and Dharmapriya Dias.
The Silver jubilee of his acting career in theatre, the medium of art which Gihan cherished most, was celebrated in a novel manner over a year ago presenting a theatre festival titled ‘Ma Dakina Mama’. The event was held at the Lionel Wendt Theatre Colombo culminating with a festival dinner. A stand-up show in which he imitated European actors and met his fans too was held parallel to the celebrations. The stand-up show consisted of many items including clips from ‘Wattala Giha and Maharagama Kumar’, the popular two-man entertaining show.
Gihan had selected Ravindra Ariyaratne’s ‘Charitha Horu Aran’, Rajitha Dissanayake’s ‘Sihina Horu Aran’ Ravindra Ariyaratne’s ‘Balloth Ekka Behe’ Priyankara Ratnayake’s ‘Ada Kale Antigone’ and Dharmasiri Dias’s ‘Sadaya Maarai Salli Hamarai’ for the theatre festival. Gihan won the best actors award in 2015 for ‘Sadaya Maarai Salli Hamarai’.
These five dramas were selected from nearly 50 dramas in which Gihan had portrayed varied characters. His 50th drama is ‘361’ ran to packed audiences. Gihan stars opposite Umayangana Wickremasinghe in the production. It is directed by Ubesiri Wickremaratne. A few of his other popular stage dramas are ‘Nethuwama Bari Minihek’ , ‘Silgath Billo’, ‘Ada Wage Dawasaka’ and ‘Ahe Malaya’.
Gihan and his colleague Kuamra Thirimadura have successfully compiled a joint venture ‘Wattala Giha with Maharagama Kumara’ a dual hilarious concert which has been successfully shown to audiences in USA and European countries. This show staged too for the Sri Lankan audience. Gihan and Kumara sing well at this show.
Due to his acting talents Gihan was invited to act on the mini screen for the teledrama ‘Hiru Kumari’ directed by Nalan Mendis over two decades ago. It was his first teledrama. However, Gihan does not consider television as a form of art. He had confessed that television is merely a business which cannot be classified as an art. He had confessed that acting is his vocation, and he cannot be choosy when invited to portray roles in teledramas. Gihan had portrayed several vivid roles in films and teledramas which have become a hit with the viewers.
He says that acting in theatre is a satisfying profession. He has no regrets about getting into theatre acting. He had portrayed the roles of other professionals including our politicians in various productions. These had given him immense satisfaction and had won the audience’s applause.
Gihan was born on 30th August 1967 in a village Galudipita in Ragama, is the eldest with three siblings one younger brother and two sisters.After completing education in school, he had studied about theatre under numerous foreign theatre directors through the British Council while working in a company. In 1998, along with another fellow actor late Asela Jayakody, he had undergone training in a workshop conducted by late Jayalal Rohana. Then, both were lucky to act in Rohana’s stage drama, Bhoothawesha. He got the opening opportunity to act in stage roles under late Somalatha Subasinghe, K. B. Herath, Rajitha Dissanayake, Ravindra Ariyaratne and Dharmapriya Dias. He won the Best Actor Award at the Youth Drama Festival in 1990 for his role in Royston Jude’s play Rangahala. Then he acted in Macbeth which was produced by a theatre group formed in Wattala under the banner Wattala ‘Kattiya’.
His maiden television acting came through Hiru Kumari directed by Nalan Mendis in 1998. Along with Kumara Thirimadura, Fernando engaged in a stage play Giha Saha Kuma.
In 2016, he organized a theatre festival titled Ma Dakina Mama to celebrate silver jubilee of his theatre career in theatre. It was held at the Lionel Wendt Theatre Colombo from March 31 to April 3, 2016 ending with a festival dinner and a stand- up show. He also voicing for the radio teledrama Channa Kinnaravi in Hiru FM, and Paradige in RanOne FM. He currently runs an acting school named Hit Act in Bambalapitiya for the new generation.His stage plays includes:Ada Kale AntigoneApahu Enna BaBakamuna Veedi BasiBalloth Ekka BaBalloth Ekka Ba 2BhoothaweshaCharithe Horu AranHoru Samaga HeluwenJanadipathi Thaththa Mata Erehiwa MamaMata Wedi Thiyan Nedda?Rahas UdaviyaRaja Man ahalaRangahalaSaadaya Marai Salli HamaraiSihina Horu AranThunsiya Heta Eka (361)Veeraya
Famous tele dramas are Adara WassaAdaraneeya AmmaAganthukaya Aluth GedaraAththammaBath AmmaBattiBonda MeedumDangayanta PamanaiDaskonDhiriya DoniDoo KumariyoHiru KumariHirusanda MaimaIsuru PawuraIthin Eeta PasseKatu Imbula Kiripabalu Vila Kokila Sandwaniya Makara DadayamaMaunayagaya Maya MansalaMindada Muthu Pihatu Nim WalallaNodath Desheka ArumawanthiNonimi Yathra No Parking Paara Pahasara,Peramaga Salakunu Pini Bindu Raja Yogaya Rathi Virathi Sadgunakaraya Sadisi Tharanaya Samanalunta Wedithiyanna ndagalathenna Sanda Thaniyama SatakapataSatya Senehasa Kaviyak Senehase Nimnaya Sillara Samanallu Sooriya Daruwo Sudu Hansayo Thanamalvila Kollek Three-wheel MalliThunpath Ratawaka Lassana Thurya Urumakkarayo Uthum Pathum Varanaya Veeduru Mal Visula Ahasa Yata Wasantha Kusalana Wassana Sihinaya Yakada Kahawa.Presently he is doing a major role in “Sihina Genena Kumariyo which is nearing the 200th episode where he plays a comedy role enthralling audiences telecast during weekends.
He has won several awards though not many at the local stage drama festivals and television festivals.He had won best actor and supporting actor awards at youth drama festivals,Raigam tele awards.
Several reporters and fans have inquired about Gihan’s tummy. He had stated that it is a natural tummy and if any director needs him to act with a reduced tummy, he could oblige within a few months. but for a good fee.Gihan became of a young grandfather at age of 52 years when his elder daughter gave birth to a baby,.There is lot of acting in store for Gihan who is very active despite his conspicuous tummy.
Photo source: Gihan Fernando Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/