American show's Indian face started out as marketing student

New Delhi, July 2 Delhi-bred Kunal Nayyar went to the US to study marketing, but as luck would have it he became an actor and now features in the popular American TV show 'The Big Bang Theory' as Rajesh Koothrappali.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008   |  Copyright: IANS  |  Comments 0 Comments  |  453 Views

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Delhi-bred Kunal Nayyar went to the US to study marketing, but as luck would have it he became an actor and now features in the popular American TV show 'The Big Bang Theory' as Rajesh Koothrappali.

'It is quite crazy and weird. I went there as a student and became an actor,' said Kunal, who left India at the age of 18 to do his graduation in marketing.

'It is interesting to play Rajesh as I see him not as a character but as a person trying to fit in America,' Kunal told to IANS.

The 27-year-old says that there are lots of similarities between him and his character in 'The Big Bang Theory'.

'I also have a lot of nerdy elements in me and at the same time I act as a geek like him. I love playing video games and just like him I also like a lot of epic stuff.'

Kunal attended acting classes while pursuing his graduation at the University of Portland, Oregon.

'I always wanted to do acting, but could never find the right platform in India. While studying in the US, I found that there are a lot of opportunities for me to learn acting and that is how I got my bachelors in marketing and my diploma in acting.'

Besides acting, he also enjoys direction and writing. He teamed up with fellow Indian Oroon Das to write a critically acclaimed play 'Cotton County', which was recently staged in the capital.

Now he is writing his first feature film.

'I'm quite happy about the fact that almost everyone knows about it. It is about my own experience of how I came to America and the way things happened and all,' Kunal explained.

And any plans to work in Indian film?

'May be five years down the line you will see me on the big screen in India. It depends on my time schedules. If given a movie, say, for around three months, I would love to do it,' the actor said.

Talking about his acting experience in the US, he said: 'The work culture is quite organised there ... the actors are always on time. The actors, directors ... all have their own unions to protect them. In other words, the work is quite labour oriented in the US.'


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