Fans : 0 G.R.Perera - ජි.ආර්. පෙරේරා

Known As : G.R.Perera
Real Name : G.R.Perera
First Released : Welikathara 1971
Latest Released : Nidahase Piya DS
2018

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Biography

By Stanley Samarasinghe

Veteran actor G.R. Perera has made a name for himself by acting in the highest number of teledramas in his four-decade long career. He has 516 teledramas and 40 films to his credit. It was film director, actor and scriptwriter Dr. Tissa Abeysekara who introduced G.R. to the world of entertainment. 
 
In every award ceremony for television dramas, he has been nominated for either best actor or best supporting actor award. In 2007 he was awarded the best supporting actor accolade.
 
Dr. Lester James Peries after watching his performance in the stage play Boarding Karayo, where he only rendered performance in a minor role, appreciated G.R. and predicted that he would one day become a good actor.
In his long journey G.R. was able to impress his audience and started to direct teledramas.
 
According to G.R. his most significant achievement is to get his youngest daughter Yamuna Erandathi – who is an honours graduate in Information Technology – to follow in his footsteps.
“It was my love for art that drove me to get my graduate daughter interested in the arts. So far she has acted in 10 teledramas,” G.R. said.
 
Following are excerpts:
 
Q: Tell us about your personal life.
 
A: I am married and father to two daughters and a son. My eldest daughter and son are married and the younger daughter obtained an honours degree in Information Technology. My wife is a teledrama producer. Her latest production is Sithaka Mahima telecast on Rupavahini channel these days. There is very good response to this drama.
 
Q: How and when did you start your film and teledrama career?
 
A: From my school days I had a passion for acting and music. I was attending Prince College Kotahena. My native place was Egodawatta, Boralesgamuwa. So, my parents entrusted me to my maternal aunt who was residing at Kotahena. During holidays, I used to go to my parent’s place.
 
Once, when I went home on holidays, I noticed a new family had come to reside in a house very close to our house. The eldest child of that family was Tissa Abeysekara, now a veteran film director, scriptwriter and actor. Recently he was acclaimed with a doctorate for his contribution to the film industry of this country.
 
Tissa and I became very close friends. I also noticed his desire for drama, films, and literature; he also associated with very talented young Prema Ranjith Thilakaratna and Dharmasiri Wickramaratna, Wickrama Bogoda. It was a group of youngsters with a common desire.
 
Later on we formed a group called ‘Ape Kattiya’ which included veteran dramatist Sugathapala de Silva. With our collective effort we produced a drama and named it Boarding Karayo. It became a hit and awarded the best drama of the year 1961.
 
In 1962, Dharmasiri Wickramaratna produced a drama called Ranthodu. With this drama Tony Ranasinghe, Wickrama Bogoda, Anula Karunatillaka also emerged as drama artistes for the first time. I did a very minor role in Ranthodu.
 
After the show, Dr. Lester James Peiris came up to the stage and wished me. He said although I played a minor role, my performance was best and advised me to keep it up. Those words boosted my self confidence and I was determined to live up to his advice.
 
Dr. Tissa Abeysekera’s influence on me also became a catalyst to my carrier.
 
Thereafter, I acted in seven stage plays. It was Dr. Abeysekera who gave me the opportunity to act in a film. My first film was Welikathara directed by Dr. D.B. Nihalsingha and the scrip was written by Tissa.
 
In Welikathara I acted as a henchmen of ‘Gorin Mudalali,’ a character played by veteran actor Joe Abeywickrama. I was fortunate enough to face the camera in my maiden film with late Gamini Fonseka who was honoured as ‘Sinhala Cinema Sakvithi.’
 
My second film was Kaludiya Dahara directed by Manik Sandarasagara. Again the script was by Tissa. I played a major role there with Joe Abeywickrama.
 
My first teledrama was Thunkal Sihinaya directed by Tissa. The story was based on a conflict between the new settlers and original settlers of the Mahaweli Project. Gangawa Tharanaya was my second teledrama.
 
My third teledrama was Du Daruwo, in which I played the role of a very impressive owner of a blacksmith shop. In the drama I was known as the Malakada Bass. This character paved the way for me to strengthen my career in the teledrama world. In my journey as a film and teledrama actor, I contributed my talents for 40 films and 516 teledramas.
 
Q: What are your achievements in your career as a film and teledrama actor?
 
A: I won a film critics’ award for my performance as Siyadoris in film Karumakkarayo, directed by Tissa Abeysekera. And won the award for best supporting actor in 2007 for my performance in Madava Jayasekera’s teledrama Chakrayudaya. In this drama I played role of a high priest.
So far, in all the awarding ceremonies for teledramas, my name has been nominated for either best actor or supporting actor.
 
I have written four teledrama scripts and two of them have already been produced. One teledrama I have directed is being telecasted at present. I wrote the script for this drama based on a true incident. My youngest daughter is also acting in this drama.
 
Q: What are your experiences as a film and teledrama actor?
 
A: I have both bitter and pleasant experiences. In my first film Welikathara Gamini acted as a Superintendent of Police. I was the Govin Mudalali’s henchmen. In the film, after the Police arrested me, Gamini startedinterrogating me and he pulled my thick hair off the ear. He was in a real mood for the character and pulled my hair strongly. Then a bunch of hair came to his hand and it was very painful to me. I started bleeding from an ear. 
 
Gamini and director Nihalsinghe got so frightened and decided to stop shooting for the day, but I requested them to continue shooting by focusing the camera on the other ear. 
 
When the teledrama Chakrayudaya was being filmed, I acted the role of high priest Seelalankara. The shooting commenced two days after I underwent a surgery to removed my gallbladder. In one scene I was to come down a hill with the help of a rope. Shooting started and did well, but the stitches on the wound ruptured. I was taken to hospital and had to be stitched up for the second time. Fortunately, my life was saved. 
 
I have acted as priests in nine teledramas. Dolosmahe Gangawa was a teledrama about the life of well reputed Dimbulagala Seelalankara Thera. I played the Seelalankara Thera’s character. Most of the shooting was done at the Temple of Seelalankara Thera. Seelalankara Thera insisted that a layman cannot be allowed to portray his character. He urged me to be ordained as a priest until the conclusion of the shooting.
 
Dimbulagala Thera ordered me to observe ‘dasasil’ and ordained me as a Buddhist priest by performing all the necessary rites. 
 
He shaved my head and robed me in Buddhist attire and laid down some conditions to follow. According to those conditions, I had to observe all the principles that bind a real Buddhist monk.
 
Shooting was done from 10 to 11:30 a.m. At 12 noon I sat with other priests for ‘dane’ as a novice ‘samanera.’ One hour after the midday meal, shooting started at 1:30 p.m. till 5 in the afternoon.
 
As such, I spent 31 days as a real monk. Pilgrims that came to the temple from other areas thought I was a real monk and treated me as a monk.

 

Photo Gallery
Films
Main Actor / Actor
No Year Name Character Director
1 ) 2004 Rajjumala Anura Chandrasiri
2 ) 1987 Viragaya Tissa Abeysekara
3 ) 1971 WelikatharaGovin Mudalalis henchmen D.B. Nihalsinghe
4 ) 2011 SinhawalokanayaWeda Maama Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa
5 ) 1980 KarumakkarayoSiyadoris Tissa Abeysekara
6 ) 1998 Gini Avi Saha Gini Keli Udayakantha Warnasuriya
7 ) 2001 Aswesuma Bennett Rathnayake
8 ) 2000 Sanda Yahanata Mohan Niyaz
9 ) 1999 Sathyadevi
10 ) 1999 Paadadaya Linton Semage
11 ) 1996 Sihina Deshayen Boodee Keerthisena
12 ) 2002 Parliment Jokes Ranjan Ramanayaka
13 ) 2018 Nidahase Piya DSDS Father Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa
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  • G.R.Perera
    Reviewed by films.lk on 2018-12-13 .
    Rating: 3
     
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