Chanika Desilva | ‘I hope to see more people who look like me representing Australia and telling our stories’

Chanka Desilva: "Being a Sri Lankan-born Australian growing up in Sydney, my career started off with lots of cultural stereotypes. Seeing the push towards diversity  is exciting. I hope to see more people who look like me representing Australia and telling our stories on our screens.

Chanka Desilva: "Being a Sri Lankan-born Australian growing up in Sydney, my career started off with lots of cultural stereotypes. Seeing the push towards diversity is exciting. I hope to see more people who look like me representing Australia and telling our stories on our screens.

We asked local actress Chanika Desilva to write us up a production report of her recent screen ventures.

I would love to share my experiences about working in the industry with you. I just had the day off to go to another audition.

I grew up in Fairfield and Fairfield West and now live in Canley Vale and I’m a Westie through and through. My family is Sri Lankan.

PRIME-TIME: Chanika on the Nine Network's Hyde & See last year, with Matt Nable.

PRIME-TIME: Chanika on the Nine Network's Hyde & See last year, with Matt Nable.

Last year I played opposite Matt Nable in Hyde & Seek and I just worked in Matt Okine's new comedy, The Other Guy. 

Growing up in Fairfield I wasn’t surrounded by the fine arts but, luckily, I was given so many opportunities to sing and act through locally-funded theatre and I fell madly in love with the whole idea of make-believe.

I could be and do anything, I felt.

And 10 years later I finally have the opportunity to live out my dreams!

Being a Sri Lankan-born Australian growing up in Sydney I started with lots of cultural stereotypes. Seeing the push to diversity on our T.V screens is exciting.

Last year filming the Nine Network’s hit thriller Hyde & Seek was an exciting start to my small screen debut in Australia. I got to work across from Matt Nable – Ra’s al Ghul himself – as Detective Gary Hyde.

We shot on the city streets of Sydney and stopped traffic as we tried to get my best angle. LOL. I had a few lines and got to be a little sassy when approached by the detective played by Matt.

Hyde & Seek was followed up by some other parts. I just shot some work on Matt Okine’s The Other Guy, an original series for the Stan network.

ON SET: Shooting The 21 Conspiracy.

ON SET: Shooting The 21 Conspiracy.

When Matt goes on holidays with his ex-girlfriend to Sri Lanka i play the friendly yet too honest hotel manager who tries to spoil all their fun.

Being on set for that was incredibly exhilarating. We shot episode 6 in Sri Lanka over three days and it was a lot of laughs all around.

Matt’s a great comedian and wrote the whole series based on his own life story and it was an honour to work with such a talented cast and learn from their experiences.

LATEST: Chanika Desilva just shot The Other Guy.

LATEST: Chanika Desilva just shot The Other Guy.

It aired earlier this month.

My family and friends have been my biggest supporters, coming to every stage show and concert I’ve ever done and they’re super excited to be seeing me on T.V, knowing how hard I’ve worked.

Being a Sri Lankan-born Australian growing up in Sydney, my career started off with playing lots of cultural stereotypes. Seeing the push towards diversity on our T.V screens is an exciting cultural move I’m excited to be part of.

I hope to see more people who look like me representing Australia and telling our stories on our screens.

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