Her first break came when she was spotted by a photographer while she was with her mother at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo.
She was just 15 at the time and her photograph was published as the cover photo of a magazine in a local newspaper.
“I never knew what it was like to pose for the camera. In fact I didn’t even know how to smile or pose. After the cover page was published I got invited for my first TV commercial as the main actress and the offers kept rolling in thereafter.
Initially I only took part in commercials and music videos but one of my good friends persuaded me to act in my first teledrama which was directed by Chamara Jayaweera. I am so grateful for that opportunity and that is when I realised my passion for acting,” she said.
Kishani says her standout TV appearance to date was when she appeared in the video for suragana kirilliye by Infaas. She says her first commercial for ‘Sunlight’ also caught the attention of so many people.
Favourite movie: So many! But I shall name a few: A walk to Remember, Chocolate,
Turtles Can Fly, etc..
Favourite song: Nim him sewwa by master
Favourite pastime: Reading and travelling
Favourite food: Italian and Thai
Favourite hangout: Galle Fort
“As an actress I believe that the drama hithata wahal weema directed by Mohan Niyaz was special. I loved the character and the audience loved the it and I felt that in so many ways that I truly lived in that character. Acting in a movie, drama or commercial are three different things.
A commercial might take only one or two days of shooting while a movie is different from a drama because the way you act for a drama and a movie is different. In a teledrama you can be more dramatic with your expressions but in a movie, your reactions and movements have to be more subtle because you are on a large screen in front of the audience,” she added.
But Kishani Alanki Perera is not all about that face on TV. She is also involved in charity work and has a deep passion for it.
“Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to help less fortunate kids. when I was a kid I didn’t know that you get charity organisations, so I used to always think to myself that I would like to maintain an orphanage for kids or to help helpless kids. But I got the opportunity when a friend of mine (Farveez Maharoof) introduced me to Kushil Gunesekera, the founder of the Foundation of Goodness. I informed him of my interest in running a charity foundation and then he told me about their charity projects for kids in the rural areas of Sri Lanka and I was completely convinced that I should help them in any little way I can.
The Foundation Of Goodness (FOG) helps kids in rural communities to obtain a good education as most of them are unable to afford essential school supplies. So I have campaigned to help raise donations for school packs and school bikes for kids and families in rural communities. Once I visited the North with the FOG and I was shocked to hear how kids walk 17 km to school because of the lack of public transport in rural areas or because they cannot afford it. So buying them a bike helps them to go to school. I believe that an entire family and community and country can be changed by education and the best way to ensure a more secure future for kids who face poverty is by assisting them in their pursuit for a good education. Helping kids by helping to educate them is a long-term investment for their future,” she says.
Kishani pursues a degree in law because she believes that it can be used to impact and influence society in a better way. Her mother always wanted to be a lawyer but she could never accomplish it because she got married and was a full-time house-wife and mother.
“My parents always emphasised on the importance of having an education. Besides as an advocate for human rights, I feel that being educated about the law and the rights people will only help me further,” she added.
As for the future, Kishani says she plans on continuing the work she loves and hopes to be able to help more kids in the future, so that they can have an education. (ER)