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Dianaka: the Newest Face in Sri Lankan Modeling

Let’s face it everybody loves to look good, that’s probably why most of us end up spending thousands of Rupees at salons and beauty parlours and believe it or not, it doesn’t stop there. I’ve come across a couple of people who actually went to the extent of even changing their features via surgery.

Some of us actually have great features, which is probably one reason why they end up being more famous than the rest but then again, looks alone won’t get you far.

Anyway, we managed to get in touch with one of the country’s leading faces Dianaka Dharmapriya, but if you’re a hermit like myself at times and haven’t seen him, don’t fret you’re sure to see him either on magazines or ramps soon enough.

Born in the prestigious city of Kandy, as the eldest of two siblings into a family of four, Dianaka acknowledges his mother’s efforts at bringing him and his sister up “Amma gave us everything we needed while growing up. She did spoil us to an extent but not overly though”. He also harped on his up upbringing, which mainly revolved around sports “I had a very busy schedule, training twice a day (swimming) and then gym and sometimes I had extra classes. I did, however, bunk classes here and there and in my last year of school I was going on tour for swim meets all over the world so I ended up going to school only for 2 weeks that year.” Said he.

An old Trinitian, who was discovered by ‘The Agency Sri Lanka’, a famed modeling agency in Sri Lanka at the age of 21 and a potential attorney in the making, Dianaka is a man on a mission. He starts off by telling us of his love for physical fitness, a passion and hobby generally associated with a slightly older generation but for Dianaka, it is more of a lifestyle where he expresses himself. Being a former national swimmer might have aided him in achieving his fitness goals thus far, he conversed on his national achievements, which he claims were some of the highlights in his life “Participating in an international meet is a dream for many sportspeople but to win a silver medal at the South Asian Championships was a dream come true.” Says he. A smile appeared on his face possibly a sign of nostalgia as he spoke of the SAAC and the Asian Age Group Swimming Championships.

Dianaka, apart from working outspends his leisure time binge-watching TV shows and claims to love his cheat meals. No sooner ‘cheat meals’ were mentioned I asked him a few questions on his fitness regime and this is what I got.

Q: How did you get involved into exercising and fitness?

I got into fitness mainly because of swimming. We needed that strength and conditioning for the sport so I started really young, at the age of 12 if I remember correctly and when growing up my mom was a big influence on me because she used to go to the gym all the time and take us with her. She still works out to this very day and she’s 50!

Q: Who are your fitness idols?

I’d have to say Arnold, I mean he a legend. Apart from him I’d go with Mike O’hearn and Andrei Deiu.

Q: What are your fitness goals?

Umm , my goals relating to fitness, I’ll be honest I just love working out. It just helps me be more happy and I’m in a good mood. My goal is actually is to do this till the day I finally die because that’s how much I love this. I’d however, like to go for a bodybuilding meet if I ever get the chance to. IFBB pro would be awesome!

Q: How has fitness helped in motivating you?

Fitness has been in my life since forever and it has influenced me a lot in so many good ways. I’m not distracted easily from my goals whether it’s gym or studying or anything else, I stick to schedule and taught me how to be disciplined and most importantly I’m healthy. It has had a huge impact on my life.

Q: What is the type of workout you generally chose?

I like weight training. More towards the bodybuilding side of things and here and there I do a bit of CrossFit just for the fun of it, but weight lifting is my thing and I love lifting heavy as hell.

Q: How often do you train?

As I mentioned before I train every day, most days twice a day. I think I got that mindset from swimming. I had swim practise twice a day so I’m sticking to it and it helps me focus more on things.

Q: How important are supplements?

Supplements I take it as additional nutrition which is quite important when you’re trying to build your body. For me, it is important to get the exact amount of the nutrients my body needs.

Q: How you remain physically fit during these trying times

During these times, well… I do have a home gym with all the equipment I need for a good and proper workout so I’m doing just that and I’m motivated but I think it’s the discipline mostly.

Q: What’s your diet like?

My diet is mainly based around protein 60% of my food is protein and the other 40% would be fats and carbs and whatnot.

Q: Could you share some workout tips?

The most important thing when you’re working out whether you’re doing CrossFit or weight training is that you need to do everything with proper technique and a set of weights that you know you can handle. Once you’re comfortable with the weight and you’ve learned the proper form gradually increase the weight.

 Q: What advice could you pass on to our readers?

My advice is that, this body we are trying to maintain or build will someday eventually fade away but the end goal should always be to live a healthy long life without illnesses or serious injury. So enjoy every single second of it, meet new people, hang out with them, enjoy the music while you workout and most importantly life heavy! And be healthy!

Dianaka, comes off as a guy who literally lives in the gym but surprisingly, he spoke of some other habits of his, such as Netflixing and listening to music, playing with Jessie (his dog), and spending time with his family.

We then asked how he’d spend his Fridays apart from all the fitness activities

“I generally call my friends up and when they come over, we’d have a good time drinking and head out for the night.” Said Dianaka.

Sci-Fi is something that keeps him tuned to the computer but apart from that TV shows such as House, Lucifer, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, Altered Carbon and Suits are some of his favourites he claims.

Would Dianaka shave off his hair for a Social Media challenge?

Sorry folks this apparently isn’t “I would not for the love of my life shave my hair on a challenge Lol. For cancer-related charity I would most definitely.”

“The most daring thing I’ve done umm… pretty sure I dirty danced because my friend dared me to hahaha memorable night.” When inquired about the most daring thing he’d done.

Finally, to wrap things up we asked a set of questions about his modeling career and this is what he had to say.

Q: Has modeling been a passion or a dream?

I’ve had no idea I would be modeling but my friend Dillion is a model and he was quite into it and I think I picked it up after him and now yes, I love it and I get to meet so many amazing people and I just love the experience I get!

Q: Did you ever consider being a model?

No, I never did. As I said before my friend influenced me.

Q: How did your family members react to it?

My mom was totally cool with it. She was cautious but she let me do it and did not frown upon or anything at all although she did set some boundaries which I respect and would not give beyond that.

Q: How were you discovered?

This was right after my exams, I didn’t have anything to do so my friend suggested that I go to one of ‘The Agency Workshop’s’. And when I did, my manager Kosh and my really good friend Tymo helped me become a better person and model.

Q: What’s the overall modeling experience like?

The experience is amazing! I love meeting new people and making friends and this is such a social thing to do that it helps me do just that. The shows are amazing including the photoshoots, video shoots. I met so many good and kind-hearted people by being a part of this industry.

Q: What sort of training and dedication is required?

Training and dedication. As you go along you pick up things, the poses and lighting etc. and most importantly you have to able to interact with people and be humble and kind.

Q: During a show are you on salads as many associates with models?

Nope, not on salads. I’ll be on my diet though. Although the last show I did I was binging on cookies. If it’s a show where I have to be bare body yes, of course, the diet is quite important to have that shredded look. If not I’m not really strict on it because I stay lean throughout the year

Q: Which brands have you currently modeled and what your favorites?

I’m an official athlete for Carnage Gear and Fitness island store and by far that’s the most favorite. The team is unreal and so humble and filled with genuine people. I’m glad to be a part of it.

Q: Which international brands do you fancy?

International brands, umm… Armani, Levi’s, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Ferragamo, etc. (not really into brands, to be honest)

Q: Can you share some on stage, behind the scene, and photoshoot experiences?

The show I did for an international woman’s week was super fun. It was a hassle getting the choreography right and we practiced for 4 hours or so straight. But it wasn’t really tiring, to be honest. It was fun and we all had fun. Behind the stage is also fun, the hair, make up sometimes, getting into our outfits. It is quite difficult to change outfits so fast but we got it done.

Q: What’s your take on the future of the modeling industry in Sri Lanka?

The future of the industry is looking good. We have so many amazing role models and it is growing at the moment. The future is bright.

Q: Do you plan on partaking in the Mr. Sri Lanka pageant?

Ummno. I have no idea of doing as of yet.

Q: Despite many talented models being available in Sri Lanka, some designers still prefer hiring foreign models, why do you think that is?

I can’t answer that question to be honest because it is for the designer of the client to choose, which model s/he would like to choose.

Q: How have fashion shows such as Colombo Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Fashion Show helped Sri Lankan models to reach the next level?

These shows are really good for our models because of the exposure they get, domestically and internationally and that is good. They have the chance to get recruited from other international brands or agencies as well.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Next 5 years … well… I don’t really think about the future that much but if I had to … I’ll be a practicing lawyer here in Sri Lanka and maybe doing some modeling and always be working out.

Q: What would you share with/tell your fans out there as a word of encouragement?

My only advise to anyone is that, do what you want to do in life, whether it’s going on a trip to Paris or asking another person on a date or anything. Just do it. Because this life we have is short and it’s too short to have any regrets. So don’t have any, go out there and be the best version of you that you could ever be. Do what scares you because that’ll help you grow as a person and through it all , the ups and downs, good or bad, happiness or sadness, take it all with a heart of gold and have a smile on your face and be Happy.

Dianaka a product of ‘The Agency Sri Lanka’, currently lives in Colombo with his family and Jessie his pet Labrador

You may follow his modeling updates on ‘The Agency Sri Lanka’s official Instagram page’

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