In a career spanning 30 years, and 6 jobs, acting was the last thing Sonny ever imagined getting into. Born to an Air force officer and a hotel executive in his native India, Sonny came to this country to pursue a college degree but ended up working in the travel industry. It was not until 2007 that he discovered that he could face the camera while working in a TV commercial for his own company, when one of the actors no-showed, forcing Sonny to take his place, and the rest is history.
Sonny’s acting career took off on a positive note; he got cast in the lead role in the first feature film he auditioned for in Maryland in 2010, followed by a supporting role in another feature film. Sonny was a part of the Bollywood Film “Welcome to New York” in 2018 and the Hindi feature film “Mirror Game,” which is available on Netflix.
You can also see Sonny in the Netflix Series “Brown Nation,” as well as an episode of “Unraveled” on NBC called “Dead Drunk,” where he played the lead role of Dr. Chevru, the Indian doctor who was murdered in Upstate New York. He’s been nominated twice for best actor. He also got a few very lucrative TV commercials, namely, Zee TV, Tea India, Oxford Healthcare, Novo Nordisk, and Desi Dahi, to name a few. Sonny has also produced a few short films and a web series under the “Rhea Films” banner.
The only thing that used to bother Sonny was the absence of any South Asian actors in a lead role in mainstream films; the numbers were even lower among people who came to this country at an older age and had stable jobs, which kept them from pursuing their dreams. That’s when Sonny founded a Facebook group called “South Asian Actors in the US and Canada” in 2013 with 20 of his closest friends from the industry. Over the years, the group has grown to 2200 members. The media has frequently covered the group and its members, and many casting directors seek South Asian Actors from within this group. Sonny regularly invites prominent filmmakers and actors from India and the US as guests for their virtual meets, and in fact, they recently had Suniel Shetty as a guest on their zoom call. In addition to the group, Sonny also created other social media profiles for the group, where he regularly features group members. What started as a simple group is now turning into an institution. Sonny has big dreams for the group and “South Asian Artists” in general, but there are roadblocks at every step. Sonny funds the group, and he hopes to keep it that way for as long as he can.
Sonny hopes that his initiative can provide a voice for all Artists of South Asian origin in North America and the whole world.
About Sonny Chatrath
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