Enter Aaron!

Aaron Ratnayeke Interview Part I by Jen Bush

Aaron Ratnayeke can color your hair, sing to you and perform a monologue while the color sets.  His artistic wheelhouse is overflowing with abilities.  “Right from youth was I invested in expanding my artistic side, almost to make up for the lack of good grades in my academics. I loved to draw and paint as a kid and that initial passion trickled into many things along the years. I then started to become fascinated by the world of photography and modeling and became curious in understanding both sides of the trade. I always felt as though my creative instincts and skills helped me excel in whatever I wanted to pursue, I applied my creativity, attention to detail and design aesthetic to everything I did. When I started performing arts in high school is when I was able to discover more of a physical form of expression. As we studied concepts like physical theatre and contemporary dance, I was keen on making my body as capable of physicality as possible. I trained myself quickly to pick up principles of extension and grace as well as essential flexibility and that early practice has allowed me to stay versatile to this day. I consider myself to be an artist in many facets. I have an admiration for fashion, graphic design, singing, dancing even coloring people’s hair. I was receptive to learning and expanding my skills when I was younger which has allowed me to bring a lot to my work now as an actor.”

 Mr. Ratnayeke recognized the benefits that pursuing a career in the United States holds for artists.  “It is claimed to be the land of opportunity! I experienced nothing short of such. I knew America to be this place where your wildest dreams could come true. The homeland of Hollywood. I knew that if I wanted to pursue this dream, what better place than Hollywood? I was attracted by the world of American culture and opportunity. I am very lucky and grateful to have the experience of building a life abroad, it has fundamentally changed me as a person and is allowing me to continually explore myself and worldly curiosities. More importantly it has allowed me to build a network of actors, filmmakers, and industry professionals. Compete in the most competitive film industry in the world. “If you can make it in LA you can make it anywhere”. I found that challenge quite compelling.”

Mr. Ratnayeke took an acting class in high school that  positively influenced his journey as an artist.  “In high school we were offered a choice of subjects. One of them being, Performing arts. That class is what introduced me to the world of performance. We studied physical theatre, contemporary dance, Musical theatre, devised our own plays, studied practitioners, amongst many more things that ignited a flame in me. As adoring as I am of watching films and tv shows, my passion started by doing and getting to unfold the profession by studying the craft is what I found to be fulfilling, I knew it in high school, I knew it in college, and I am certain of it now as a working actor. The concept of stepping into different characters was always an attractive one. Getting to change how you are perceived is a challenge with so many moving parts and as someone who always did different accents and voices, the idea of being anything gives one limitless opportunity, and that will always fuel me to keep going.”

Mr. Ratnayeke draws inspiration from the craft of a good actor.  “Each actor is celebrated and defined by who they are and how they bring that to a performance. I never saw the point in singling out one actor in admiration, rather learn what makes each actors choices unique to them and absorb how they infuse themselves. Melissa McCarthy is a great example of an artist who unapolagetically brings themselves to the character and uses the text as a playground. I’m not going to steal her style of delivery but use that concept of freedom and trust that she has with herself, to inform a character I’m playing. Timothee Chalamet has built an impressive career for someone his age and doesn’t get there without the talent to support it. Watching him, you feel his thoughts. He understands how to use the camera to his advantage. He encapsulates the nuance of subtlety. That’s something a lot of new actors including myself have trouble with. If we dedicate our idea of greatness to one’s choices we’re shooting ourselves in the eye of our performative range and capability.” 

Part II in the pages of InDfilm.studio

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