Ajay Kalahastri Naidu (born February 12, 1972) is an American actor.
Early life and education:
Naidu, an Indian American, was born on February 12, 1972 in Evanston, Illinois. His parents came from India to the United States in 1964. He attended Evanston Township High School. He trained with the American Repertory Theater's Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.
Naidu's 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. Naidu 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.
Naidu 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 starred in the cult film Office Space, as well as appearing in films such as K-Pax, Subway Stories, π, Requiem for a Dream, Bad Santa, The War Within, The Guru, Waterborne, Loins of Punjab Presents and many more. 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 a dancer and an M.C. His vocals have appeared on many records, most notably Talvin Singh's mercury award winner "OK".
In 2006, Naidu directed his first feature film Ashes which had its release in 2010 and for which he won Best Actor accolades from the MIACC Film Festival in New York and the London Asian Film Festival.
Naidu's most recent theatre credits include The Master and Margarita with Complicite, a world tour of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with Complicite, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui alongside Al Pacino, directed by Simon McBurney and The Little Flower of East Orange alongside Ellyn Burstyn at New York's Public Theater directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 2001 Naidu's solo theatre piece Darwaza was a sold-out hit at New York's Labyrinth Theatre.
Naidu is married to actress Heather Burns.