Source: The Sunday Leader
To some being an actor means money, prestige and recognition, to others it is a special art that needs to be practiced, mastered and taken to greater heights in the film world.
Dharmajith Punarjeewa like many others too wanted to be an actor. However, when he tried to find a school, to learn this art, he found that none existed. His attempt at trying to locate a book shop that could sell him a book on the art of acting failed miserably. It was at this point that Punarjeewa was struck with the idea that he should take the initiative to write a book on acting, especially for those amateurs who would like to read, learn and master the correct method of acting.
This was the result of his book Rupana Vedaya and today that is one of the most important books sought by prominent and amateur film actors and actresses in the country.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Punarjeewa said he was initially sad when he saw the standard of the hundreds of teledramas aired on television. "If you were to switch on the TV channel and continue to watch even five teledramas for a day, you would realise that the characters in all these teledramas are basically acting a similar role. But for the audience who doesn't understand what acting is all about, watching a teledrama is a form of entertainment," said Punarjeewa.
For many amateur actors and actresses, earning money rather than trying to improve their knowledge of acting has become important today. "These actors and actresses prefer to live a comfortable life with the money they earn from teledramas rather than concentrate on winning an award," explained Punarjeewa.
According to Punarjeewa, in the US the sole aim of famous filmstars is to concentrate on winning an Oscar and bring up the standard of the film industry .
"I wanted to be an actor but I felt that I should first study and understand the art of acting before I really get involved in the practicals," explained Punarjeewa.
According to Punarjeewa, from his experience and research while gathering information for his book he has learnt that the best method for acting is the realistic form. The Sinhala theatre and cinema have completed 50 years. But what have the prominent film artistes done to uplift the standards of this important industry," says Punarjeewa.
Rupana Vedaya is probably the only option left to uplift a dying film and teledrama industry. Punarjeewa's book deals with Konstantin Stanislavski's acting method. "This is the method used by popular film stars in the States. In Rupana Vedaya I have taken examples from Sinhala films and explained what an amateur needs to know when starting on a career in acting. An amateur can then watch the film and understand what I am trying to say," added Punarjeewa.
In Rupana Vedaya, Punarjeewa talks of the acting methods of Swarna Mallawarachchi, Anoja Weerasinghe, Malini Fonseka, Joe Abeywickrema, Vijaya Kumaratunga, Ravindra Randeniya and Gamini Fonseka. Part of the book also explains acting methods of prominent international film stars and directors like Marlon Brando, Sir Laurence Oliver, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Lauren.
According to Punarjeewa, Brando was one of the first actors to adopt Stanislavski's acting method and is today one of the most famous and successful actors in the world.