Madhushanka: Beyond a child actor
By Susitha R. Fernando
It is a rare opportunity that even a leading actor gets to play
the lead role in two films that are screened simultaneously in two
The award winning young actor Dashun Madhushanka plays the lead
roles in Sudath Mahadivulwewa's 'Sudu Kalu Saha Alu'' (Shades of
Ash) screened in CEL circuits. Also he plays the lead role in Somaratne
Dissanayake's 'Samanala Thatu' (Butterfly Wings) screened in EAP
Madhushan has already acted in five films involving three lead roles
with two more waiting to be released. This gifted actor won a merit
award at the recent Presidential awards held in July 2005. He is
still a grade seven student at Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa.
A number of talented actors for both wide and small screens like
Srinath Maddumage, Rukmal Nirosh and Ashen Manjula are past pupils
of PoWC Moratuwa.
was when I was in the Grade 2 class that I started. I saw some children
harassing a small cat one day. I went to Mr. Tissa Gunewardena to
complain and rescue the poor creature."
the way I explained this incident, 'Gunawardena Sir', who was famous
for his dramas asked me to join him in his next play,’ said
young Dasun describing his journey first to the stage then to the
miniscreen and eventually the silver screen.
first appearance was in the stage play "Sath Iruwa" and
this was followed by "Sihina Charika". "Later I was
invited by Chamara Jayawera to conduct a children's TV programme
"Singithi Hawula", my first appearance on the small screen.
"Then I was invited to take part in the children's teledrama
"Siduge Yaluwo" said Dasun at length.
was through actor Rukmal Nirosh, I came to know 'Sudath Mahadivulwewa
Mama' who selected me out of nearly 500 hopefuls who participated
at the audition. Jayalath Manoratne Mama and Channa Deshapriya Mama
had recommended me for the role.
in Somaratne Dissanayake's 'Suriya Arana' (Fire fighters) and 'Samanala
Thatu' made Dasun immensely popular. As a result veteran filmmaker
Wasantha Obeysekere chose him for his films 'Sewwandhi' and 'Aganthukayo'
(yet to be released).
about the challenging scene he had to portray, Dasun said acting
in 'Sudu Kalu Saha Alu' was a difficult experience. "A victim
of a land mine I had to perform with one leg for a large part of
the film and this was a painful experience. When we finished shooting
my leg was swollen causing unbearable pain".
was also a difficult role I played in 'Samanala Thatu'. Almost the
entire film was shot on dusty roads with a large cast. I had to
grow my hair and spend hours on the pavement as a child of a beggar
family making it another difficult role.
whether he would continue as an actor, little Dasun said "My
greatest dream is to become an archaeologist and study about different
civilisations. I want to study how different civilisations originated
and how some vanished," said Dasun the student.
mentioned a special thank you to 'Principal Sir' who encourages
and supports him to continue acting. The second of three sons Dasun
says "my two brothers are better actors than I. The younger
brother Sachin Chathuranga acts in two teledramas- Luxman Wijesekere'a
'Dangayinta Pamanai' and Jayalath Maoratne's 'Thunpath Ratawa'.
elder brother Kasun Maduranga is a talented actor too, but he is
interested in cricket" Dasun said. Dasun Madusanka said if
it was not for Tissa Gunawardena Sir he would have never reached
the limelight. He remembers with gratitude Somaratne Mama and Renuka
Dissanayake Nenda, Sudatha Mahadivulweva Mama and Chamara Jayaweera
Mama without whose support he would never have become an actor.
father Priyanjith Manjula Mendis and mother Lalani Devika Fernando
should be thanked for all the trouble they are undertaking to help
me to continue with my acting. My father even had to leave his job
to accompany me for shooting on location’ he said.
father Priyanjith Manjula Mendis speaking to TV Times said he never
imagined his son to be a capable actor. "Due to our jobs we
had hardly any time to watch him act in school dramas. When he spoke
about his ability I thought it was just imagination. But I realised
that I was wrong when I was summoned to the school by the principal
to be told that Dasun was selected to conduct a programme on Sirasa