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Anudi Gunasekara : The beauty in the limelight

By Nethmie Dehigama

 

You might have seen her face on billboards, magazines, and social media. In this edition of Happinez, get to know a little more about Anudi – the 22-year-old undergraduate student who’s a fresh face in the modelling industry in Sri Lanka. You are bound to see more of her in the near future!

 

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself!

A: I’m Anudi Gunasekara. I’m 22 and I attended Central College in Anuradhapura for my secondary education. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in International Relations (IR) at the University of Kelaniya. I work as a part-time model for clothing brands and commercials. I have a younger brother and a sister. My mother is a beautician and my father, a former national athlete, is a senior police officer. Generally, I’m a talkative and extroverted person who enjoys meeting new people. However, as much as I love being sociable, I also prefer having me time with Netflix and some good food once in a while. I hate procrastinating at work, so I always try to be very organised and balance my work and studies simultaneously. I absolutely love what I’m doing in my life; my modelling career, my degree, and spending time with my family and loved ones. That is what makes me feel alive.

 

Q: How did you enter the modelling world? It is something that you have always had a passion for?

A: I won’t say that I always had a passion for modelling, but I believe my mother’s profession played a major role in it. I had my very first modelling experience at the age of 16 which was very unexpected. My mother did a bridal show, and at the last moment when one of the models couldn’t attend due to an emergency, I had to walk down the ramp instead. I received a lot of comments and compliments from many people asking me to join the modelling industry, but my parents wanted me to focus on my Advanced Levels (A-Levels) first. After I successfully completed my A-Levels, model and photographer Birendra Fernando, who was a family friend and a former student of Brian Kerkoven Academy, introduced me to Brian Kerkoven. Brian was my first mentor in this industry and I’m forever grateful to him and Birendra. I entered the modelling industry in 2020. Joining Fashion Bug in 2021 was a turning point in my career. Since then, I have done clothing shoots, jewellery shoots, and commercials for various brands like Fashion Bug, Mimosa, Maliban, and National Development Bank PLC (NDB).

 

Q: You’re an IR undergraduate. Do you see yourself following a career in IR and modelling as well?

A: As much as I love modelling, I don’t have plans to continue it for a very long time. To be honest, this industry is constantly updating and seeking fresh faces every single day. You might get a lot of opportunities as an experienced, well-known model but at the same time, you might lose certain modelling gigs for the same reason. After completing my degree, I’d definitely start working in the IR field but if I have time, I’d continue modelling for as long as I can. However, I’d always prioritise my career and studies before anything else.

 

Q: Who are your modelling muses?

A: Out of all the international models I really like the Hadid sisters, Gigi and Bella. Among Sri Lankan models, Christina Peiris and Ornella Gunesekere are my favourites.

 

Q: Who or what has been your biggest motivation to keep following your dreams?

A: My parents have always been my biggest motivation and they have always supported me in following my dreams. A lot of Sri Lankan parents have a negative impression of the modelling industry. Even though I was the first person in my family to join the industry, my parents have been supportive and understanding from the very beginning. Most of the newcomers, including me, had to struggle a lot to get an opportunity. Just because you did a photo shoot, it did not mean you could easily become a model or the face of a brand. You have to go through many screen tests, auditions, and rejections repeatedly and at some points, you can feel exhausted. During those hard times, my parents have always encouraged me to keep going without giving up.

 

Q: What do you think is the true key to happiness?

A: I believe focusing on what you can control is the true key to happiness. Worrying over things that are beyond your control only leaves you frustrated and disappointed. Simply, don’t put your key to happiness in someone else’s pockets; they are not responsible for your happiness, and you can’t control it either.

 

Q: If you had the opportunity, what would you tell your 13-year-old-self right now?

As Billy Joel says: “Slow down, you’re doing fine, you can’t be everything you want to be before your time”. That’s what I’d tell my 13-year-old self.

 

 

PHOTOS © HASARANGA PATHIRANA, YADUSHIKA