Sulochana Weerasinghe a thespian award winning actress having conquered the stage ,mini and silver screens in a relatively short period with recognition from foreign nations too – by Sunil Thenabadu
Sulochana Devi Weerasinghe is an acclaimed, educated, award-winning thespian actress of the silver screen , mini screen, and on stage.Howevee unlike other actresses Sulochana adores the silver screen though not acted in many films which she affirms is closest to her heart, more specifically as she watches many movies local and international with a deep appetite and love to absorb the essentials in them.She had said she too loves the stage but to a lesser extent. Characteristics of good actor orbits basically on character which is approximately built from beliefs, virtue, and motivation, of course on passion. It has to be built throughout the career, expertise, and skill. It also changes easily because when one changes belief or perspective, it will influence one’s traits. Charisma is one of those surface qualities expected of an actress who should be attractive, engaging and captivating to the audience as the roles portrayed are mostly the real lives of men or women. They send forth dramatic and emotional positive vibrations. These along with challenging work and commitment has made Sulochana Devi Weerasinghe a standout sought after actress on a career spanning only approximately one and a half decades begun during her undergraduate epoch. Although having a degree in media and mass communication from the university of Kelaniya has not learned any acting as an undergraduate though she had portrayed roles in ‘Jathaka’ stories in school and dham pasel concerts. Sulochana has the inclination with enthusiasm to watch enormous number of films ,dramas in the internet. She had learnt the basics in acting from acting workshops, particularly at Somalatha Subasinghe’s workshop in Kotte.She also had in an interview mentioned the name of Kaushalya Fernando ,Daughter of Somalatha Subasinghe as a mentor to her tutoring the basics in acting. Sulochana for nearly a decade is attached to the department of mass media and information as an officer appointed on her university degree qualification., loves, enjoys her work which she discharges to precision in spite of her acting agendas, without any criticisms from superiors. In spite of her acting career and the responsibilities at the government office she has passed five subjects for her post graduate Master’s degree on ‘Samaja Vidyapathi’ only the thesis has to be submitted, which she fervently hopes to find time which is rather overdue. For her Mass media and communication degree each undergraduate needed to work as a rule at a television channel to be competent to some extent the work of a producer as it was compulsory, Sulochana too had undergone this tenure before sitting for her final examination.
Sulochana had entered the Kelaniya University for a degree in media and mass communication while still a teenager at nineteen years not having any intention to become an actress but to be a media professional..She possesses a strong fictional character self-discipline with determination to go or her targets .She reminisces the agony she underwent while travelling to and from her native dwelling in Kegalle.She recollects the anguish she experienced in packed bus voyages when she at time got her blood boiled in addition to been crushed compressed by fellow commuters.at times had made her blood to boil when crazy sex hungry perverts used to lean against her physique .She had thought to herself the only way out is to buy a vehicle.On this focus when she was standing at bus halts waiting for buses she had watched young girls flash pass her in glitzy cars which made her wish more determined. She was on a Mahapola scholarship while in the university for which she received two thousand rupees. While her father used to send her another, rupees three thousand to compensate for her personal expenses like taking photocopies. for assignments and other concerns. Sulochana with the purchasing her own car in mind had started saving a few rupees .Initially without the knowledge of the home folks Sulochana had applied for a driving licence from a driving school which was right opposite her campus. The licence she recollects cost her only rupees eight thousand only. After she got her licence she had surprised her father by showing it to him.After collecting money ob=ver a few years she had approached ‘Sanasa’ bank in Kegalle to obtain a loan of rupees one million with her mother’s impetus. Suloachana had purchased her dream car ‘A Nissan March” in year 2013 which she still uses very prudently. The loan had been obtained to be repaid in ten long years, but Sulochcna with her personal earnings from drama and government salary had repaid the entire loan in an unbelievable period of just two years.Most of her associates had uttered many times to her to go for a modern posh car. But she had totally declined all such propositions adding her ‘March boy is good enough’ still. This is typical of Solochana’s behaviour
Acting to Sulochana had commenced through a sheer fortune when a close friend in the same university Lakshi Chandimal who was following a degree in ‘art and drama’ wanted her to portray a role in her short drama ‘Pemwathi Nethiwela’ when the regular actress been inaccessible. This short drama was in preparation for the inter university drama contest and the government drama festival. Sulochana had obviously pondered as she had never acted other than in school and daham pasela in plays of minute magnitude. After much deliberation on the insistence of her friend who is presently a professional in this field teaching in a school down, Sulochana had consented as an assignment to be proven. This was Sulochana’s first ever portrayal at this level while it was also the first direction of her buddy.This was in year 2005,for this debut portrayal she had received an award too, for the best supporting actress in the inter university drama competition. To Sulochana the award is only special to her as it lifts the morale ,confidence and boosts any performer to do superior roles, learn the art, if one is to climb the ladder to prominence. Sulochana for the same portrayal had been adjudicated three times as the winner of a award at other awards ceremonies .Following her triumphs she had developed enthusiasm to portray more roles. Her initial protagonists were in Gladiator Premaya of Prasanna Mahagamage’s and Namal Jayasinghe’s ,then Prasanna Vithanage’s Debiddo and Somalatha Subasinghe’s Vikurthi., Punchi Apita Den Therenawa. Thoppi Welanda, simultaneously she was invited to tele dramas like Sihina Puraya and Pooja. Thereafter she was invited to portray characters in films which are still in the minds of all audiences, like Train to Kandy(2012). August drizzle,(2011),Colour dawn ( 2012) Rathi Ranga(2014),The Frozen Fire (2018) ,Ginnen Upan Seethala.(2018) Thanamalwila( 2020) Mona Lisa ( 2022) .In the film of Rohana Wijeyweera ,Kamal Addararachchi had portrayed the role of Rohana Wijeweera while Sulochana had portrayed the role of his wife Chtranganie Wijeweera. .Sulochana reminisces there had been a certain period when three off her tele dramas had been telecast in three separate television channels, when many directors had approached her to offer roles..She had asserted that she was in one firm stand even to accept a supporting role, her fee not fluctuating .For all directors it is so easy to work with an experienced actress as Sulochana as with her expertise in grasping the meaning of a script with ease unlike many novices who were not competent in the field had obviously had taken additional time.Sulochana is of high honour and commendation to Directors duo Prasanna Mahagamage and Namal Jayasinghe who had been her mentors from her beginning in’ Gladiator Premaya ‘when she was a novice. Sulochana who never minds been called Sulo,Devi or Weere is a diverse type of a character, contrary to many other actresses is very conventional dislikes prejudice or bias speaks to ones face sans any panic on injustices., do not hide facts about her, been very genuine ,even her age.
The portrayal of her role in ‘Nikini Wessa’film of Aruna Jayawardena where somewhat of a talked about her unusual role she displayed becoming a turning point in her acting career..She had voiced that unlike in western countries people tend to gossip s to whether she exposed her legs, breast, her nude, stripped ,engaged in lip kissing etc. She needs to emphasise that she was only portraying a role
as per her script nothing beyond it., why people are so inquisitive on it.For her portrayal she had received international recognition along with the crew and other stars.Sulochana hails from Kegalle ,has two siblings, a brother attached as a Naval officer a sister married with two kids, father is retired from his vocation at a government department, mother works at Sanasa Bank.Prior to deciding to taking acting as a profession after her graduation she has had intimate serious dialogues with the family and parents about the pros and cons of the vocation, particularly as she was not having any hereditary affiliations to acting with only substantial innate abilities and passion.She remembers her husband Dasun Pathum who is a tower of strength to her in many ways. Sulochana had passed her birthday recently. Excerpts from her FB page were having had a fruitful somewhat of an illustrious career always divulge her correct age unlike many others.Her close colleagues have warned her ‘machang’ never disclose your correct age , always reduce a few years which is a good perspective as when a director comes in search ,he prefers to deploy a younger girl of twenty five years above you when is aware of your age. She affirmed is only just three years short of ‘hathalis andiriya’, but she looks much younger. She had added that during her life she had passed so many phases with triumph like studied, loved, gave boots, obtained a degree, got boots, ranga pewa, won awards ,did post graduate studies,loved again, found employment ,married, built a house,grew trees , gave birth a child, what she had only not achieved was authoring a book.Sulochana is a housewife to be emulated living sans domestics has to cook ,drop her daughter in school before reporting to office of course she has shooting and rehearsals. She opts to take her child to her locations by which she has added as she too absorbs art learns what art is..After her debut drama she had won three awards, in year 2010 and year 2012 she had been adjudicated as the best actress in stage dramas for her roles in ‘wedikewe mahapolowe’ and ‘dahadiya sittam’. More lately in year 2019 she portrayed a role in comedy play ‘ of Udayasiri Wickramarathne titled “Garu Kathanayakathumani”.starring late Jayalal Rohana,Sudarshana Bandara,Sanjeewa Dissanayake, Mihiri Priyangani,and others.
Apart from winning awards she had received recognition from overseas film personnel too which she appreciates to tall heights . Nilendra Deshapriya having seen her portrayal in her initial stage play Gladiator Premaya had selected her to his film’Thanha Rathi Ranga’which had gained international recognition starring Sulochana with veteran artistes like Kamal Addararachchi, Swarna Mallawarachchi,Anoja Weerasinghe,Namal Jayasinghe in a film festival in Thailand for which Sulochana too had participated. Sulochana had received many accolades, also been nominated on many instances when had not won an award.
In a television collaboration Sulochana had said that some who come newly to the field believe acting is merely reading out dialogues ,but is not so it is a much sophisticated exercise where it is approximately built from attitudes, morality, and inspiration, of course on passion. Sulochana desists from accepting ‘seeni bola’ characters who according to scripts need to loiter around in flower parks wearing ‘malgowns’ eating chocolates..Once Sulochana had gone to witness a awards ceremony with some colleagues. Two unheard unseen duo on television had been elected the most popular actor and actress on ‘sms’ voting. She is on the opinion that the authorities who organise these award ceremonies should think otherwise as it is somewhat of a disgrace to all talented recognized artistes when such awards are lent..
Sulochana had been very fortunate to act along side many veterans much seniors, the likes of W.Jayasiri,Prasad Suriyarachchi,Nilmini Sigera,Jagath Munawarna,Nita Fernando, Swarna Mallawarachchi,Jayani Senanayake, Sampath Tennakoon, Wasantha Vittachchi,Lakshman Mendis, Jagath Manuwarna, Sujeewa Priyala,Susan Niroshan,Priyantha Sirikumara,Jehan Sri Kanth,Thusitha Laknath,Sanjeewa Upendra,Dilhani Ekanayake,Deepani Silva,Prasanjith Abeysuriya,Suraj Mapa,Harsha Tennakoon,Chndrasoma Binduhewa,Manjula Moragaha,Buddhika Jayaratne,Anjana Premaratne,Chinthka Kulatunga,Narada ThotagmuwaViswajith Abeysuriya,Kumara Thirimadura,Sarath Kotalawela and several others as the list goes on and on.
Sulochana apart from some of her above hurdles successfully triumphed is currently seen on two popular tele dramas telecast daily on ITN and Hiru channels ‘Gagana Piyawara’ and ‘Divithura’rather long tele drams which are viewed by many audiences daily.She is a bit busy with shooting on them and on rehearsals of another stage play of Ranjitha Dissanayake “2019 July Masaye Eka Dawasak”which had not been able to stage owing to the crisis situation in the country.But Rajitha Dissanayake had been bold enough to organize the play.It is to be staged at the Lionel Wendt arts theatre on this week end .Sulochana is busy on shooting in the above tele dramas and with rehearsals of this stage play.It need to be emphasised that Sulochan Sulochana is an actress who chooses only scripts which are conducive for her acting ranges, does not accept all that comes that way planning precisely as she has to give time for her government vocation at the government information department. All her many fans would wish her from their hearts to mature more in her all acting aptitudes which are destined to blossom to unprecedented high levels.
Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane
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