UPBEAT!


BY : Ruwini JAYAWARDANA

Being a star kid comes with its own advantages, but it is a constant struggle to make ones own mark while living up to the legacy parents, especially if they happen to be Rookantha Goonatillake and Chandraleka Perera.

However, Raini Charuka Goonatillake has managed to come out of her parents’ shadows and make her own mark both in the music industry and the movie scene. Her debut screen appearance was in Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa’s ‘Sinhawalokanaya’.

These days she is busy with indoor and outdoor performances, putting a new solo together and managing her own event and wedding planning company ‘Party People Entertainment’.

Her own wedding celebrations are scheduled to be held towards the end of the year. She will also be touring the Middle East for musical shows in Dubai on March 18 and Oman on March 19.

Q: You have ventured into both singing and acting. Which do you prefer? Would you take on a role again if someone offers one to you?

A: Honestly, I love doing both! Singing and acting have become my life. While I was in school, all I did was sing and act: stage dramas, metropolitan operas and Off-Broadway plays in New York City.

Therefore, I couldn’t choose one. Yes, I would take on another role if it is not going against my limits.

Q: Is it difficult being a child of two celebrities and following in their footsteps - especially since the fans’ expectations seem to be very high?

A: It is an absolute blessing to be their daughter mainly because they are such great human beings.

It is quite difficult as most people expect me to be as exemplary as they are which I will never be! I cannot imagine my self any close to all the legendary acts they have done.

Q: Which subject did you hate most in the school syllabus?

A: I hated mathematics because I was never good at it until I started high school in New York.

Event hough Sri Lanka has some of the best teachers and syllabus’ I had not got the proper foundation and idea of math so I truly despised it! (Laughs) Once I started school in NY, everything just turned upside down! It was quite amazing.

They brought the mathematician in me. Regardless of all the A’s in my report cards, I still am not a fan of mathematics. (More laughter)

Q: Out of all the songs that you have sung which song defines you most?

A: ‘Neela Kandugate’ which happens to be my debut (2009).

Everything about that song is so young, fresh and upbeat and waiting for the start of something new. That is just how I see myself.

Q: Who is your 4 am friend?

A: Other than my better half it is definitely my cousin sister/best friend, Udari.

We’ve known each other since the day I was born.

We have always been there for each other.

Q: Are you a foodie? What kind of food do you like?

A: I can’t call myself a foodie, but there are many things I would like to try someday or else I would be lying. I love all kinds of fruit. Durian is one of my favorite. I love Sushi and Sashimi and I love trying new things like live octopus! (LOL)

Q: Have you faced any embarrassing moments on stage?

A: Once at one of our annual family concerts in Sri Lanka, my mom forced me to wear a dress to sing because I would always throw on a pair of jeans with sequin top and a blazer and my Converse shoes. With the dress I had to wear a pair of heels and I was super uncomfortable with it.

As I was performing my first song, I slipped a little and realized it was worse every time and that I would fall if was to wear them the entire time.

So, I decided to remove them on the stage and I did. I took them right off as the band played the intro to my next song. (Laughs) Well, it wasn’t embarrassing for me because I am quite calm and cool and open minded about things but it was a jaw dropper for some people and they even made comments about it to my face which hurt me a little but other than that, I still do it sometimes. (Giggles mischievously)

Q: Three things you absolutely hate.

A: 1) People who criticize others ignorantly. 2) Liars

3) Wet, unhygienic bathrooms

Q: One moment in your life that you would like to recall over and over again.

A: (Dreamily) I love recalling the first time Akila (my husband) and I went on a date. I love and remember every single moment like it was yesterday.

Q: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change?

A: I would change my hormones because they are making me fat in a way it is difficult for me to control and my feet because I have banana feet and it stops me from wearing pretty shoes all girls love wearing! (Long sigh)

Q: Is there a question that you have been asked frequently?

A: Nowadays something everyone asks me all the time is whether I completed my studies in US. The answer is ‘no’. I have a lot more to go but I’m not in a hurry to.

Q: What is the last thing that is usually on your mind before you sleep?

A: After my night prayers, I don’t have a specific thing on my mind. I think I usually think whether I have anything important to get done the next day and I hope I haven’t forgotten it.

Q:If you could transform yourself into any fairytale character which one would you choose?

A: (Thinking hard) Hmmm... I think I will go with Cinderella. I always loved watching it and learnt a lot about caring and being kind.

Q: One thing you like to do before you die.

A: (Promptly) I want to be an international artiste before I die!

Q: We hear that wedding bells are on the way...

A: Wedding bells, according to Sri Lankan customs and traditions are on the way. I got married a year ago to my husband, Akila Dharmasena, in Washington D C, USA. We have been married for one year exactly. We didn’t celebrate our marriage with a ceremony when we got married because everyone we love and cared about were in Sri Lanka. So we decided that we go through the traditional Poruwa ceremony this December so that all our loved ones, especially the grandparents, can be with us on our special day. 

http://www.dailynews.lk/

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