‘My sense of cultural identity is out of whack’
Possessing a quick-witted gift of the gab and immersive acting talent, multi-hyphenated Nik Dodani is one of the talents to look out for this year
A few ‘latergram’ posts on Nik Dodani’s Instagram places him at Cape Town Film Studios in South Africa, where he filmed
now in theatres across India. The posts brim with dry and witty humour coupled with sass, much like his character on TV show in which he plays the charismatic and openly gay Pat Patel. Nik is stealing hearts and gazes with his impressive talent.
The 25-year-old grew up in Arizona in the United States and adds it was “a part of Arizona with a bunch of rich white kids, some of whom confused me for their local Navajo tribesman.” He tacks on, “Safe to say my sense of cultural identity is completely out of whack.”
Netflix snagged the actor’s talents too, shoving him into the spotlight with roles as Zahid in and as Blake in
“Working on has been a dream,” he comments, “The cast, producers, writers, directors, crew — everyone has been incredibly warm and welcoming. I feel like I’ve really cut my teeth working on I’ve learned a lot and think I’ve grown as an actor because of the show.” now running strong in its third season, follows the romantic and family-oriented milestones experienced by a high school student
Room — Murphy Brown Atypical Strangelove. Atypical. Escape Alex Atypical Atypical,
on the autism spectrum — with the continually pressing question of ‘what is normal?’
Having starred as the geeky Danny Khan in Nik finally got his feet wet with the action-thriller genre. In the film we see walls being closed in, temperatures raised to flesh-scalding and other horrific predicaments. Naturally, he had to push himself physically. Director Adam Robitel, best known for
Logan Escape Room, The Taking of Deborah Insidious: The
(2018) was quite the pullfactor here. Nik completed the experience with a greater wealth of knowledge, explaining, “I learned that I have no excuse not to exercise when I’m shooting just because ‘I’m busy.’ Adam had a minigym wherever he went on set and was doing intense weight lifting between most takes. Very impressive.”
Last September, he had Stephen Colbert’s audience laughing during a stand-up on
What did the experience teach him? Well, he’s quite succinct about it, “Stand-up is exhausting, I don’t get how the pro’s do it. I have mad respect for them.”
So what’s the versatile artiste up to now? He’s currently working on a screenplay for the movie adaptation of Lambda Literary awardwinning written by Indian-American author Rakesh Satyal who’s also penned the
Last Key Show. Blue Boy The Late
No One Can Pronounce My Name.
It’s an exciting link-up for Nik, to say the least. follows 12-year-old Kiran Sharma who’s a bit of an outcast because he prefers to indulge ballet and playing with his mother’s makeup. He also reveres his Indian heritage and convinces himself that the reason he’s having trouble fitting in is because he’s actually the tenth reincarnation of Lord Krishna.
Nik recalls the link-up, “Last summer, after I read for the first time, I DM’d Rakesh on Instagram
Blue Boy Blue Boy
like a silly fanboy. We eventually met up at a gay bar in New York and hit it off, and now we’re working together. I’m almost finished with the screenplay and can’t wait for the world to see the movie one day.”
Nik is one of the golden few who’s paved the way for LGBTQI artistes of Indian-origin. What advice does he have for future entrants? “Take as many classes as you can, make real friends, don’t take yourself too seriously, and please don’t steal my jobs, thanks.”
Nik Dodani; a still from Murphy Brown