Q&A: Natasha Wanigatunga is a Fashion Model Whose Runway is Living Positively

Winner of Miss Sri Lanka USA 2015, Natasha Wanigatunga is a fashion model that has done campaigns for brands such as Pop Sugar, Nº21, Nordstrom, and Aeropostale. On the acting side, Natasha is best known for her starring role in the indie film 'Act Drunk'.

Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Natasha’s parents moved from Sri Lanka to Alaska to raise Natasha and her brother. Growing up in Alaska, made Natasha love and appreciate the beauty of nature and frequently hikes, walks, or watches the sunset during her free time. Her dream is to send a message to the world about how faith, positivity, and inner beauty are important characteristics to have and not lose.

What was your first gig as a model and as an actress?

When I was 12 years old I modeled ‘sarees’ with my mother in Sri Lanka, a dream come true.

What is the story behind you competing in the Sri Lanka USA 2015?

I’ve always wanted to compete in a pageant since my mom was Miss Sri Lanka 1981. When I saw the opportunity, I decided to make the most of the moment. I couldn’t have the full advantage as I was still in college, but it was a great learning experience overall.

How did you land the role in the film ‘Act Drunk’?

My brother, Stefan Wanigatunga, directed the film. He reached out to me and said I would fit the character best for his vision. We read over the script with the cast and it went great; this was my first lead in a short film.

Tell us about your nationality. What is your cultural background?

I am 100% Sri Lankan and born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Two totally different climates with extraordinary beauty.

What was it like living in Alaska?

I wouldn’t change it for the world. I haven’t seen a sunset as spectacular as the ones during the winters in Alaska. Growing up around so much nature and care for the local community, is something I’ll always carry with me.

What is your favorite thing about nature and why?

It keeps me in the present moment. I take each morning of prayer and I spend time outside to embrace the nature around me. Nature is a teacher, it speaks to those who listen.

Since you live a healthy organic lifestyle, do you ever eat at fast food chains, drink sodas and/or alcoholic beverages?

Life is all about balance. To me, being healthy is to not deprive yourself. Everyone has different ways to indulge and it’s important to embrace that. I personally do not like supporting fast food restaurants that mistreat animals, so I tend to avoid them. I avoid drinking soda or alcohol because I don’t like the way it feels in my body. I do have a sweet tooth for chocolate and will always enjoy new foods from different cultures.

What is one recipe you would recommend to someone trying to eat healthier?

Smoothies! It is my favorite way to consume the vitamins and minerals from Whole Foods. It’s a great opportunity to be creative as well. My favorite smoothie is half a banana, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 3 handfuls of kale, half an avocado, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 heaping tablespoon of mesquite powder, a few drops of stevia, and ice. All organic and blended smooth, you can’t taste the kale and it’s loaded with nutrients.

How do you encourage others to stay positive? What is a motto and self-help approach routine they can or you do daily?

I live each day with prayer, gratitude, and grace. Depending on my schedule, I take 30 minutes to pray and meditate for all I’m grateful for each morning. Every day I thank Christ for this day, my family, and my health. Life is all about an attitude of gratitude. Having grace begins with forgiveness; I forgive myself and others daily. This keeps me centered and grounded to be the best version of myself.

Follow Natasha Wanigatunga on her IG as she shares her happiness with everyone while pursuing her career in acting and modeling.

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