Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ajay Naidu: Indian American Actor

Ajay Kalahastri Naidu (born 12 February 1972) is an Indian American actor.

His parents came to the United States from Chittor district, AP, India in 1964. Naidu was born in Evanston, Illinois. He attended Evanston Township High School. He trained with the American Repertory Theater's Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.

His first professional acting job was the film Touch and Go(released in 1986) which he won from an open call. He starred in the TV-movie, Lady Blue (1985) as "Paquito". This was followed by an ABC Afterschool Special episode, "No Greater Gift" (1985), where he played "Nick Santana", a 12-year old boy with a terminal illness. He then appeared in the "MacGyver" TV series' first season episode, "To Be a Man" in 1986.

Other film credits when younger include Where the River Runs Black (1986) and Vice Versa (1988). Between 1988 and 1995 he worked extensively in classical theatre.

He returned to film acting in SubUrbia (1996), where he was praised for his role as the convenience store owner, "Nazeer Choudhury" and for which he was nominated for an independent spirit award for best supporting actor.

On screen, Naidu has appeared in the cult film Office Space, as well as K-Pax, Subway Stories, π, Requiem for a Dream, Bad Santa, The War Within, The Guru, Waterborne, Loins of Punjab Presents among others. He co-starred as a series regular in the sitcom LateLine and had guest starring roles on the television dramas The Sopranos, The West Wing and Bored to Death.

Naidu has been working extensively with musicians from the Asian underground music movement for many years as both a dancer and an M.C and his vocals have appeared on many records, most notably Talvin Singh's mercury award winner "OK".

In 2006 he directed his first feature film Ashes which had its release in 2010 and for which he won Best Actor accolades from both the MIACC Film Festival in New York, and The London Asian Film Festival.

His most recent Theatre credits include A world tour of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with Simon McBurney's Theatre Complicite, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui alongside Al Pacino, and The Little Flower of East Orange alongside Ellyn Burstyn at New York's Public Theater. He is engaged to actress Heather Burns
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