On today’s episode of Creative Space, we have the pleasure of chatting with Shivantha Wijesinha, an actor, musician, and old friend of mine with an incredible career so far. He’s got a long list of credits but recently, he played the role of Jegan in Oscar nominee Deepa Metha’s film, Funny Boy, which is available on Netflix. He was also nominated for most outstanding performance in the 39th Annual Green Room Awards for his portrayal of Duke Senior and Duke Frederick in Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of As You Like It. In 2022, he was selected to narrate The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by author Shehan Karunatilaka, which won the 2022 Booker Prize and he also has a speaking role in George Miller’s upcoming Mad Max film, Furiosa.
Shivantha has had such an inspiring creative journey so far, from growing up in Sri Lanka and discovering his passion for music to giving up a career in law to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. We talk about his creative process as an actor, his love for Sanford Meisner, and what it was like to work with directors like Deepa Mehta and George Miller.
For more information on Shivantha, visit: shivantha.com.
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1:09—How we first met
2:30—Growing up in Sri Lanka
4:00—The innocence of life before the internet
5:17—Following the sound of the drums
9:05—Leaving law behind for acting
13:00—Trusting even when you’re terrified
14:03— Studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts
16:54—Shivantha’s definition of creativity
19:20—Imagining a world without art
20:56—The creative process of an actor
23:30—It’s not about the words
26:00—You have to move with the moment
27:20—What he learned from working with Deepa Mehta
29:18—The beauty of Sanford Meisner’s repetition exercise
31:30—Becoming a better actor by teaching
32:40—The greatest challenge in day-to-day work
33:30—Finding joy in the small things
36:31—Narrating ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’
40:20—The myth of overnight success
42:22—The civil war in Sri Lanka
43:55—Working on the latest Mad Max film, ‘Furiosa’
45:05—Your next role is your best role
45:23—Advice for actors just starting out
47:00—What’s next for Shivantha