His social media says — 'Beware: I may just be the most awesome person you will ever meet.' And that, is a part of his charm. In conversation with Mr. Sri Lanka World Jake Senaratne.
''I could never see myself doing an ordinary 9-5 job stuck behind a desk and chair, no matter what the stability of the profession; I would lose my mind!! Modeling and fitness give me the satisfaction that is much needed in a profession. I could never accept something that might give stability but rob me of satisfaction and happiness.
That said, what makes me a good model today is my attitude, work ethic and passion for the industry. If I commit to something, I'm always on time and give my hundred per cent. As a Director's or Photographer's model, I sincerely listen to what they want me to deliver as I'm very passionate about every assignment I take up. I also lead a disciplined life, work out regularly and eat clean. After all, you look what you eat! However, it is not all smooth sailing! A common misconception about male models is that we are shallow, self absorbed and homosexual which is untrue. We work hard on our bodies; maintaining our bodies is a physically and financially tough task, which goes unnoticed!!
A milestone in my career is the title, Mr Srilanka World. Winning the title and representing my country overseas was my proudest, humbling moment. It was a childhood dream and I proudly crossed it off my bucket list. The experience and the friends I made will remain with me for the rest of my life. It is hard work though. Preparing for the national pageant was a long tedious process. I had to maintain a clean diet and train harder than I do. As for the international pageant, it was another level of preparation altogether. I not only had to eat disciplined and train my physique but I also had to organise myself such as visa application, filling questionnaires sent by the panel, organise the wardrobe, work on my talent and the final interview. It was challenging but I ensured I had it covered. My experience with fellow contestants was amazing. Even though we were competing against each other we had respect for each other; it was wonderful to meet and befriend so many people from all around the world… I will never forget any of it. Winning this title has made a huge difference to my career. I'm a known name in Srilankan Fashion, the first Mr Sri Lanka World.
Plus, work is looking up. An assignment that stands out in memory after the pageant is shooting for calendar 'Body Sculpt’. Nikos Narkissos is a renowned photographer; he also did my make up and gave me a bronze, when we shot in Mount Lavinia, Srilanka. He emphasised on poses that illustrate muscles and endurance. It was not easy but it was fun. Once, we shot in peak Lankan heat with waterproof makeup. The toughest part was that I was without food and water to avoid bloating! The sea was violent so he was clear we wouldn't shoot at the beach; he ensured my safety which I appreciate! Today, I'm serving as brand ambassador for SriLankan label LICC and male underwear brand George Burley.''
— JASMEEN DUGAL
Photographs — Nikos Narkissos