Q. Which part of India are you from?
My parents are from Rajasthan. I was born in Kolkata and brought up
in both Delhi and Kolkata. My maternal relatives are still based in
Rajasthan, so I visit at least once a year, especially when there are
family functions. I speak Marwari, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi and
Sanskrit, all fluently.
Q. Tell us about your childhood. Did you always want to be an actor?
I was always into acting. When we were young, my cousins and I used
to play 'Bhai Bhai', where we made up our own stories, rode bikes, used
fake guns to hide and shoot, and performed a few stunts on beds.
Q. How did you get into acting?
I come from a well-known family, where education, business,
professionalism and status are important words. However, I am proud to
have parents like mine, who always supported every decision. I realized
the importance of a strong base for acting, and, after my graduation,
joined Barry John
in New Delhi. The course built my confidence, and I
learned the basics of the profession. I also managed to get a business
management degree at the same time.
Q. You trained with Barry John? The experience there must have been quite fruitful...
Yes, it was. Barry John
's teachings are very useful for my regular
performances. He taught me facial expressions, co-ordination with
co-actors, and dialogue delivery. He is the best guru I could have
asked for, the Dronacharya of acting, who sends forth many Arjuns into
the film industry.
Q. How did you end up in the USA? Did you have to struggle?
I have not "ended up" – this is the beginning of my career. My goal
was to become a global actor, so that I could work both in Hollywood
and Bollywood, and in television and films. The gap between them is
decreasing. Struggle has become a part of my life, like a best friend.
The more I struggle, the more I achieve.
Q. You seem to have an interesting body of work there too…
My experiences have taught me one important lesson – if you work
hard, you will be accepted anywhere. People here appreciated my work,
and now I get more and more offers. Of course, I am represented well by
the Porter group and Stephanie, who always gets me to audition for big
Q. How easy or difficult are things for an Asian actor in Hollywood? Are there chances of getting stereotyped?
Nothing is easy in the USA. It all depends on how hard you work,
and how focused and confident you are. All that matters is how you can
prove yourself, and the audience will judge and appreciate you.
Q. Filmmakers you are dying to work with in Hollywood?
A. Mira Nair
, Shekhar Kapur, Deepa Mehta
– they are all based in the
USA, and hopefully, I will get to work with them. I also wish to work
in the future projects by actors turned producers and directors, like
Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Recently, I
auditioned for 'The Love Guru', a Mike Myers film starring Justin
Timberlake, which will be shot in Toronto.
Q. Favorite actors...
My favourite actors in Hollywood include Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom
Cruise, Brad Pitt, Will Smith, Mike Myers, etc. From Bollywood, I like
Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar
, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol and Madhuri Dixit.
Q. Any plans of working in India?
I recently auditioned for the lead role in 'Dilli 6', a Rakesh
Omprakash Mehra film, produced by UTV. I really like his 'Rang De
Basanti'. I am in talks for two other Bollywood films, as well as one
Indo-Canadian film. I will tell you more when things are confirmed.
Also, the response to 'The Diamond', releasing in South India, will
decide my career here.
Q. What are your forthcoming projects?
I am currently shooting for a horror film for Primal Films Inc. The
movie is directed by David Francis, a well-known director and actor. I
have shot two pilots for television. I am now in talks for a Hollywood
project, two Bollywood projects, and one Indo-Canadian venture.
Q. You are also getting into production?
My specialization is acting, not directing, so I need to focus on my
acting. However, in the near future, I may start co-producing and
producing under my own banner. That will take a few years, since I need
more experience than this, to work behind a camera.
Q. What is your motto?
It is from the Gita – 'karm pradhan vishwa karhi rakha, jo jas
karhi, soo tass phal chakha', which means, I need to work hard to taste
the fruit of success.
Q. Who is your inspiration?
I am very inspired by some characters in history, such as Asoka, who
was a great warrior, and a man of religion and peace. Then there was
Dadhichi Rishi, who sacrificed his bones to save the human race from
the demons. I admire Shravan, who was blind, but carried his old
parents on his shoulders on a pilgrimage. From the present, I admire
Shah Rukh Khan. He is a self-made man, who was faithful to his
profession, loyal to his family, and always trusted the Almighty. This
has taken him to the top now, and there is no turning back.
Q. What do you do with your free time?
I believe time is precious, and should be used judiciously. When I
am not working, I meditate, or I drink in the beauty of nature, and
marvel at the creations of the Almighty. I have a regular schedule, and
I adhere to it – when I sleep, when I eat, how much time I spend with
my parents and family, etc. I also make it a point to follow all the
Q. Where can film makers contact you?
Through Stephanie Porter of the Porter group.