British Indian actor Kiran Rai, 27 is a well-known figure on the entertainment circuit: he has hosted 106 major events, ranging from sports, film festivals and show business.
He has also made the rounds of newspapers and magazines and is currently promoting the latest technology brand 'Social Box.’
Rai was awarded the IFA award in Mumbai last year for 'International Artist of the Year ' and given an award by 'All India Radio' for contributions to arts and entertainment.
The workaholic, whose “Geordie” dad Bob Rai grew up in Newcastle, is an international model, actor, comedian, broadcaster, agent, media coordinator and chat show host.
Having grown up in Nottingham, instead of going to university, Kiran studied at Nottingham’s Television Workshop for promising young actors, before heading to London. There, he joined a talented young generation of South Asian and British Indian performers including comedian Paul Chowdhry and actor Dev Patel.
Kiran produced one-man play “Good Things Happen to Good People” based on his youth and after a run at London’s Soho Theatre it went to New York’s Richmond Shepard Theatre.
Rai did an exclusive interview with India-West to promote his newest venture:
Q: As a British actor, you’ll be stepping into Bollywood with ‘Marriage Online.’ How did this opportunity come about?
A: I went to India but didn’t have the money since working as a actor, the money is very tight but asked my friend Saj to sponsor me to travel to India and my idea was to bang on all the doors until someone took me on. I stayed out in India everyday in Mumbai and networked with lots of people and met many producers and directors along the way and eventually met Salim Khan who gave me the chance of a lifetime. It sounds like it was easy but it was a difficult time, by giving myself a 3-month time limit.
Q: What kind of work have you done prior to taking up this project?
A: I have been very lucky to be able to be part of this great career and pursue the world of presenting and acting, I have successfully hosted more than 102 major events including 32 grand sports and 55 showbiz shows including performing in the West End and Broadway in New York City. The weird thing is – I have never made a single penny because for the past eight years I have been offering my services for free since I was so passionate about building up my CV. Even in this film I haven’t made a single penny but as a businessman, I am building up my profile to the height where I can earn thousands of pounds.
Q: Tell us more about your character in ‘Marriage Online’?
A: My character is a very jealous and aggressive man who doesn’t appreciate his sister dating someone over the net. There’s a lot of aggression and anger in my character.
Q: Where will the film be shot? Tell us a bit about the locations?
A: The film will primarily shot in Mumbai and Delhi.
Q: Tell us about your future plans – More work in Bollywood?
A: No I have decided to take Saj Vlogs advice and stick to the world of arts and entertainment in UK. I am British and this is where I belong but I felt this film was right for me. I am very pleased with how its going.
Q: Who do you owe your success to?
A: My family. I am very grateful.