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I will continue to act after marriage - Upeksha Swarnamali

She calls herself rude and rebellious! If there is anyone who dares to speak her mind in our celebrity circle, it is Upeksha Swarnamali. Be it her past relationships, political career, current projects or impending marriage, the beauty has a solid answer for every question. Her movie ‘Cinderella’ is screening these days in theaters across the island. Another movie, ‘Maya’, and ‘Rashmie,’ a teledrama is slotted for released soon.

Q: What is your weakest point and what is your strength?

A: My weakness is probably my ability to sympathize with others. I try to help people by putting myself in their shoes. They have misused my kindness and hurt my feelings. I love speaking my mind.

Therefore people sometimes misinterpret what I say or misunderstand my good intentions. Therefore, after 2006, I took more care not to be so open about my feelings. I was not as ‘genuine’ as I used to be. My strength is also my compassion. Looking back at the past I realize now that I gained my present status because I was compassionate towards people.

Q: How were you as a kid?

A: I was fun loving and easy going. I come from a broken family but I was very close to my mother. I am always obedient to her. I have been through the hardships that any child from a broken family goes through. I only became rebellious during my late teens! (Laughs)

I loved playing the piano and dancing. I had a positive outlook and was active. Though I was not the top of my class, I did well in my studies.

Q: How do you see your character in ‘Cinderella’?

A: Ishanka is totally me! (Laughs) When an actor portrays a character people tend to believe that the person is similar to that character. When I achieved fame as Paba, they expected me to be similar to her. Therefore, when I stammered during some of the Sinhala interviews they thought that I was doing it out of purpose! They thought that I was trying to show off that I cannot speak Sinhala properly!

I did not have to act while doing Ishanka’s character and I believe that really shows in the production. She is so like me! I am ever so grateful to Enoka Sathyangani for giving me such a character. It is the most realistic character I have portrayed.

Q: How do you handle negative criticism?

A: I try my best to see the motive behind the criticism. If it is constructive criticism, I try to accept it and deal with it. But you cannot please everyone. I have pretty much taken the decisions in my life and do not go by what people say. From the time I turned 26 years onwards I live by the people I love. I am here today because of my mother. There was a time that I almost lost myself.

If it is unfair and extreme criticism, I have spoken back to people and showed them that they are wrong. I can be a bit rude like that! (Bursts out laughing)

Q: If you could play any character in a local movie made so far, whose character would you choose?

A: Hmmm... To be honest I haven’t watched that much local movies. I do not agree with certain parts of the movies in most of those which I have watched so far. I am mostly a Bollywood fan.

However, I would love to portray Swarna Mallawarachchi’s character in ‘Dadayama’ and Sangeetha Weeraratne’s role in ‘Aswesuma.’

Q: If you could choose any Bollywood actor as your co-star for a movie, who would you choose and what genre would the movie be?

A: Oh my god!!! (Almost swoons) It would be a dream come true to share the screen with Hrithik Roshan and Aamir Khan! They possess amazing talent. I watched IIFA 2010 at the Sugathadasa Stadium and Hrithik was the only one who did justice to his performance.

I was quite taken by Leena Yadav’s ‘Shabd’ which stars Sanjay Dutt and Aishwarya Rai.

It is a movie which deals with a physiological disorder. I have not gotten the opportunity to portray such a character.

It signifies that if you are not emotionally strong, you could lose yourself to those emotions.

Q:Are you an animal lover?

A: (Heaves a big sigh) Oh, I love nature! You can understand god and yourself if you are close to nature. I have a pet dog, Rocky, whom I love to bits! I want to keep three more dogs. I used to keep pet fish but that never worked out.

Dogs eat and breath for us. The bond we share with them is amazing!

Q: What do you like to have for breakfast in the morning?

A: Some of the items on my list are tough to have here because they are expensive. But where I spent my childhood in Kuwait I used to have cereal and oats for breakfast.

They were not luxury food over there. They were the type of food that you would find on your menu everyday.

I like light meals since my lifestyle is not physically active.

Even string hoppers and eggs sounds fine by me.

Q: Are there some food you dislike or avoid?

A: Rotten food! (Laughs) I generally don’t go for food that that is very spicy but if it tasty and spicy, I don’t mind going through the torture!

(More laughter) I love tasting anything out there.

Q: Five things that make you smile.

A: 1) Rocky

2) Kids

3) A good movie

4) Good music

5) My handful of genuine and ‘lunatic’ friends

Q: What superpower do you dream of possessing?

A: If ‘bringing justice’ can be categorized as a superpower, I would like to possess it! (Laughs) It is not easy because everyone has a reason for what they do. If someone is being very wicked, I have no sympathy for him or her.

Q: What is the most irritating question that you have been asked?

A: ‘Why did you get into politics?’ (Grimaces) What makes it worse is that I myself do not know the answer to that question! I am very grateful to the public who voted for me but I had no intention in getting into politics in the first place. I had no motive or the background. It was purely based on circumstances.

Q: A beauty tip you would give to another woman.

A: Be yourself! Appreciate yourself. Test yourself. Everyone is unique and that is what makes the society beautiful. Be true to who you are. Beauty is only skin deep.

Q: If you could have a plastic surgery right now and change anything about yourself, what would you change?

A: (Mischievously) I would change something for sure but I wouldn’t tell you what it is! (On a more serious note) I think it is fine to do a few alterations when you grow mature, as long as you don’t overdo things. In countries like Brazil, it is a norm while it is mostly seen as a negative factor here. I have seen the world out there. Therefore, I do not shun things like this. I would like to age gracefully.

Q: Tell us about your wedding plans.

A: My fiance is a businessman. We have known each other from 2011. It has not been a long term relationship because it is only a few months back that I gave my consent to him.

We will be married this month. I will continue to act after marriage but another thing I am looking forward to is become a mom.