There’s a different woman behind the stylish dresses and glamorous accessories. You know her as a celebrity and a fashionista but then you really don’t know who she is. Wathsala Diyalagoda has another, more reserved side, hidden away from the arc lights.
Giving more importance to family over the glamour scene she had been engrossed in looking after her daughter and managing the household for the past three years. However it is not a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ where this actress is concerned. Her presence has been missed and it has been difficult to find a replacement. Come 2017 and she is back on the mini screen with a lineup of tele-dramas and other projects.
Q: Snobbish, a chatterbox, mischievous, stylish… these are the words that most people use to describe you judging you from the characters that you play. How fair are their perceptions?
A: That’s not fair at all because the roles I play are poles apart from who I really am…But, yes, I am given similar roles to play.
I really don’t know why I keep ending up with such roles. (Laughs) Maybe it is because the directors feel that I do full justice to such roles and that is why they keep approaching me for such roles. I take on such roles because, as an actress we should give life to all types of roles that are offered to us.
The ‘real me’ is not aloof at all. I am a very simple person. I am not such a chatterbox in public either.
Q: Do you prefer films, tele-dramas or stage dramas?
A: I have taken part in stage dramas during my school days but I have never acted in films. Though I have had a few offers I could not give the green signal due to the time constrain. I prefer tele-dramas because it is less time consuming. Most of the shooting process for these are based in Colombo areas so long hours of traveling are not involved. I came into this field through Lilantha Kumarasiri’s ‘Muthu Kirilli’. So the fans have gotten to know me as a tele
drama actress. That is another reason to love tele-dramas.
Q: What was the most challenging role you have done?
A: I played the character called Sanju in Nalan Mendis’ ‘Doowaru’. She is a tomboy. She practices Kung Fu and rides a motor cycle. I did not know how to do any of those things but I took up Kung Fu classes and learnt to ride a cycle for that role. At the last stages of shooting I even fell off the motorcycle once and broke my arm.
Q: Would you ever go bald or put on 10 kilos for a role?
A: (Looks wide eyed for a moment and then bursts out laughing) Goodness! No… I cannot make commitments to such an extent. (Giggles)
Q: What is your greatest strength and what is your greatest weakness?
A: I have the will to bear any situation. I consider this my strength. My weakness is that I trust people easily. Then I had to face the music later.
Q: What scares you most?
A: (Looks embarrassed and then bursts into giggles) Believe it or not – cats! I really don’t know why I have a phobia for cats. If a cat is in the house or anywhere close by, I am never at ease. I would rather have a tiger in the house than have a cat! (LOL)
Q: What is the best compliment you have gotten and who gave it?
A: The most memorable and touching compliment I have gotten was from my husband, Prasanga Gunasinghe, on the day our daughter was born. Nothing in the world beats the joy we felt when we held her in our arms. My daughter is Hithyshi Venaya. She is three years old now and I have been by her side throughout those years. It is only towards the end of 2016 that I began to resume work again.
Q: If you were asked to cook a meal for friends, what would you make?
A: Oh, I am actually good at this. (Laughs) I have a special recipe which is a hit among my friends. I will make yellow rice, a chicken kurma, a vegetable salad, and a brinjal moju. Oh, you want dessert too? (Giggles) I can whip up a caramel pudding or a chocolate mousse in a jiffy.
Q: Apart from being a celebrity you are quite a fashionista as well.
A: I do not go for any type of clothing. I am very choosy. Big designs do not look good on me because I am not really big made. I go for small designs and light colours. Beige is one of my favourite colours.
I believe that what you wear should not be the feature which highlights you. Simple and smart is my style.
Q: If you got an opportunity to produce or direct a movie, what kind of movie would like to make and who would star in it?
A: (Laughs) I think I would never do any of those things in my life. However if we imagine that I would, I want to make a romantic movie or a children’s film. (Slyly) Selecting the actors for the task would depend on who is in the scene during the time the movie is made.
Q: A word of advice for young mothers.
A: I think that it is such a pity that many young girls who have kept themselves pretty and well groomed, neglect their appearances after motherhood. I possess a body type which puts on easily but I started exercising and dieting about one and a half months after giving birth. I believe that I have a better body than the one I had before birth now. If we are well kept and look after our appearance, we will have everything we need in life within our grasp. We would be able to reach for the stars because it enhances our confidence.
Q: Three lesser known facts about yourself.
A: Oh, that’s a hard one. I think my life is pretty much an open book. No secrets…
1) I am at my happiest when I am chilling out at home.
2) I don’t get worked up easily but if I do, than lord help you! (Laughs)
3) Shopping is my favourite pastime. Even if I get five minutes of free time I rush to a clothes store to check out the new clothes. I don’t necessarily have to buy any clothes. Just feasting my eyes upon the lovely outfits are enough to keep me happy.
Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?
A: (Thinks for ages) I don’t really know… Oh, I guess I would like to be more organised. I can be quite a messy person at times you know. (Laughs)
Q: Actresses competing for beauty pageants is the ‘in thing’ now. Don’t you like to try your luck in that department?
A: I entered the field after becoming Miss Teen Queen 2005, Miss Capri Queen 2006 and Chavi Kalyani 2006. Then I was busy with work. However I do have an idea to take part in a Mrs Sri Lanka beauty pageant.
It could happen either this year or the next. Let’s wait and see. So fingers crossed!
Q: What are you engaged in and what is coming up?
A: I am working on the sets of ‘ Aadara Nethu’ these days. I am also doing a couple of TV commercials.
I am the brand ambassador for a well known beauty product so I am involved in work to promote that brand as well.