An actress on a mission

011By Ashanthi Warunasuriya

Born and raised in the United States, Anjani Perera shot into the spotlight after acting in the movie Sri Siddhartha Gauthama, which broke box office records in Sri Lanka in 2013.

Anjani played the role of Queen Prajapathi Gothami in the movie produced by Navin Gooneratne, Jeff Goonewardena and Kanthi Perera. In December 2013 the movie won the award for best film in the “World Cinema” category at the Delhi International Film Festival.

Before arriving in Sri Lanka to act in the movie, Anjani was the Regional Facilitator and Trainer at the “The Cheesecake Factory” located in Woodland Hills California, a USD 27.2 million corporation. She took on the responsibility of conducting extensive hospitality training seminars and had to train nearly 50 new recruits to the company.

Anjani’s father, being a reputed hotelier, was very proud of her achievements in the hospitality Industry, while her mother, was a little disappointed that she did not follow her footsteps in the medical field but was yet proud of the courage and independence she showed in decision making.

image-2Anjani made Sri Lanka proud by becoming the first Sri Lankan to be represented and signed on to a top-notch Hollywood Talent Agency known as “Abrams Artists Agency.”

The audition to get into the agency was held at her performing arts school where there were nearly 2,000 other talented individuals who had also auditioned. Anjani was selected and her first movie with the agency was Tango at the Dojo which was shot in Los Angeles, an action movie where she played the role of a villain who needed to have a background in martial arts. After her Sri Lankan movie Sri Siddhartha Gauthama, Anjani had been offered numerous movie projects. However she turned them down.

“If I take part in another film, it has to send a message to the people, have meaning behind it and a pinch of history would be great… Similar to Sri Siddhartha Gauthama, which is about loving kindness and compassion towards one another, regardless of caste, creed and religion,” she said.

As for the future, Anjani says she will continue to only take part in meaningful projects as she feels it is not just about glamour, fame and fortune.

She is also the Ambassador of the “Children’s Hope” charity project which takes care of 54 children in the South, whom are either orphaned after the tsunami, abused, or deaf and blind.

“It is such a wonderful thing to be connected with such people who, like me, want to do good for Sri Lanka, help the less fortunate and assist in portraying the nation’s beauty and positivity,” she said. With her professional background in hospitality development, producing and presenting, she is certain she can assist in boosting tourism in Sri Lanka.
Anjani says she is proud of Sri Lanka and also the United States where she was born.