Mag Events,Cover Story l by Tina Edward Gunawardhana l 20 Dec 2022     - 140

Rising Star

Making inroads in Hollywood, aspiring actor Aaron Ratnayeke talks to Features Editor Tina
Edward Gunawardhana about his life behind the scenes as a jobbing actor.


Photographs: Courtesy of Aaron Ratnayeke

There is something about Aaron Ratnayeke that catches your eye. Maybe it is that cheeky look or that
mischievous glint in his eye. But one thing is for sure, the combination of his looks, personality and most
importantly his versatile acting is helping him win work in one of the world’s most competitive movie
capitals, Hollywood. Moving to the US from the UAE where he was born, Aaron attended the New York
Film Academy where he graduated with Honours. Currently, alongside going for auditions he is
attending an acting studio class led by one of Hollywood’s most prestigious and acclaimed acting
coaches in a bid to further hone his skills. Aged only 22, Aaron’s career trajectory is on the up if the work
he has done to date is anything to go by. Commercials for Apple, San Diego tourism, Starbucks, Lenovo
and promotional videos for Disneyland are just part of his impressive CV.

How did you get into the field of acting?
When I switched schools my new school had a more prominent theatre department. I started out by working
backstage as a stagehand until a few years later when we had to choose our subjects for our O-Levels. One of the
subjects offered was a “BTEC Performing Arts”, I graduated in this discipline and received several outstanding performance awards through the years. It was my most
passionate subject and something that I felt I had an immediate connection to. What formal training have you had?
After high school I attended the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles, California where I graduated with honours:

BFA Cum Laude Acting for Film. As of now, I am in an acting studio class led by one of Hollywood’s most prestigious and acclaimed acting coaches.

What are the projects that you are currently working on?
A few jobs of mine that are yet to release are a NBC True crime documentary where I played a real-life social activist who is currently incarcerated. A student short film. A commercial for San Diego tourism, a commercial for Apple, Promotional media for Disneyland theme parks and Print work for Starbucks and Lenovo. 
I also just filmed my small part in a micro budget feature intended to be submitted to Sundance in 2023. Currently, I
am constantly auditioning, submitting and focusing on sharpening my craft as much as I can so I am ready for bigger opportunities when they choose to present themselves.

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Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is the Deputy Editor of Hi!! Magazine. She writes on a variety of topics which include travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also a journalist for the Daily Mirror Life. An intrepid traveller, Tina likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno or email her at

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