Aasif Mandvi

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Aasif Mandvi
Aasif Mandvi crop.jpg
Mandvi in November 2007
Born Aasif Hakim Mandviwala
(1966-03-05) March 5, 1966 (age 48)
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Occupation Actor, comedian, writer
Years active 1995–present
Religion Islam
Website
Official website

Aasif Hakim Mandviwala[1] (born March 5, 1966), known professionally as Aasif Mandvi /ˈɑːsɨf ˈmɑːndv/, is an Indian-American actor and comedian. He began appearing as an occasional contributing correspondent on The Daily Show on August 9, 2006. On March 12, 2007, he was promoted to a regular correspondent.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mandvi was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India,[3] to a Dawoodi Bohra[4]Muslim family.[1] His family moved to Bradford, England, when he was a year old, where his father ran a corner shop and his mother was a nurse.[5] Although Mandvi identifies himself as a "working-class kid from Bradford", he attended the independent Woodhouse Grove School.[5] His father grew frustrated with Margaret Thatcher's Britain and moved his family to Tampa, Florida, when Mandvi was 16.[5]

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

After graduating from the University of South Florida with a degree in Theatre,[6] Mandvi worked as a performer at Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.[1] He later moved to New York City where he began appearing in off-Broadway productions. During this time he also was active in the band Cowboys and Indian. He won an Obie Award for his critically acclaimed one-man show Sakina's Restaurant.[7]

On Broadway, Mandvi appeared as Ali Hakim in the 2002 revival of Oklahoma! directed by Trevor Nunn.[8] He also appeared in the play Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner. He portrayed Fritz Haber in the off-Broadway play Einstein's Gift.

Mandvi played Melchior in On the Razzle by Tom Stoppard at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and appeared in the docudrama Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom at The Culture Project. In 2012 Mandvi starred in Disgraced at The Clare Tow Theater at Lincoln Center. He played the lead role of Amir, a Pakistani American lawyer struggling with his identity and Islam in the drama by Ayad Akhtar. The play went on to win the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[9]

Television roles[edit]

Mandvi made his television debut as a doorman at the Biltmore Hotel in the episode "Line of Fire" of the series Miami Vice. He has since appeared in numerous television shows: ER, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, CSI, Oz, Ed, The Bedford Diaries, Jericho, Sleeper Cell and various editions of Law & Order, including Criminal Intent, Special Victims Unit and Trial by Jury. He was the book reader for audio editions of Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown (2005) and V. S. Naipaul's Magic Seeds (2004). In 2011 he appeared in Taco Bell commercials.

In 2006, Mandvi auditioned for The Daily Show. He was hired immediately and appeared on the show the same day.[1] Mandvi became a regular correspondent in 2007. He often appears in segments satirizing and commenting on Islamic, Middle-Eastern, and South-Asian-related issues with such titles as "Senior Asian Correspondent," "Senior Middle East Correspondent," "Senior Foreign Looking Correspondent," and "Senior Muslim Correspondent."

In 2013, Mandvi was cast in a recurring role on the FOX romantic comedy, Us & Them.[10]

In October 2013, during a segment on the Daily Show, Aasif Mandvi's interview with Don Yelton led to Yelton's resignation from the North Carolina Republican Party office.

Film work[edit]

Mandvi played minor roles in the films The Siege and Die Hard with a Vengeance as well as the title role in Merchant Ivory Productions' film The Mystic Masseur. He also had a major supporting role in the independent film American Chai, playing the lead character's roommate, "Engineering Sam." He played the doctor who diagnosed Paul Vitti's (Robert De Niro) panic attacks in Analyze This, and had a role as Mr. Aziz of "Joe's Pizza" in Spider-Man 2. He was also in commercials by Domino's Pizza and FINRA . He played the tone deaf doorman Khan in Music and Lyrics. He has a role in the 2013 film The Internship.

Mandvi played a dentist alongside Ricky Gervais in the 2008 romantic comedy Ghost Town, as well as office employee Bob Spaulding in The Proposal, starring Sandra Bullock. Today's Special, which Mandvi co-wrote with Jonathan Bines, premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2009 and New York's Mahindra Indo-American Arts Council Film Festival on November 11, 2009.[11] He appeared in It's Kind of a Funny Story, a coming-of-age film written and directed by Anna Boden with Ryan Fleck, adapted from the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini.[12] He also co-starred as a Guantanamo captive in the film The Response, a script based on the transcripts of Combatant Status Review Tribunals convened in Guantanamo in 2004.[13] In M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender (released in 2010) he played a major role as Commander Zhao. Mandvi played the role of Mr Chetty in the 2013 comedy The Internship starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson

Charity work[edit]

Mandvi is involved with disaster relief organizations like the charity initiative Relief 4 Pakistan, which assists in flood relief in Pakistan. In 2010 he hosted the "Stand Up for Religious Freedom" comedy event to raise money for the organization.[14] After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, he performed with fellow Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac at Conan O'Brien's "I'm with Coco" Benefit for earthquake victims. He is also a supporter of the Endometriosis Foundation of America.

Works[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Actor[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1990 No Retreat, No Surrender 3: Blood Brothers Terrorist
1995 Law & Order "Khan" Video Store Employee Season 5 Episode 14: "Performance"
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance Arab Cabbie
1996 Eddie Mohammed
1996 Nash Bridges Aziz Kadim Television Series
1998 The Siege Khalil Saleh
1999 Hook'd Up Indian Guy
Analyze This Dr. Shulman
Gofer Gorby
Random Hearts Electronics Store Salesman
ABCD Ashok
2001 3 A.M. Singh
2002 American Chai Engineering Sam
The Mystic Masseur Ganesh
Book of Kings Dr. Mitra
Oz Dr. Faraj
2003 Undermind Shark/Roger
2004 Spider-Man 2 Mr. Aziz
2004 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Sateesh Inert Dwarf
2005 Sorry, Haters Hassan
The War Within Abdul
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Judge Samir Patel Bang & Blame
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Judge Samir Patel Baby Boom
2006 Freedomland Dr. Anil Chatterjee
2006 The Sopranos Dr. Abu Bilal 1 Episode
2006 Sleeper Cell Khalid Television series
2006–2008 Jericho Dr. Kenchy Dhuwalia Television series
2006–present The Daily Show Himself Television series
2007 Music and Lyrics Khan
2008 Peroxide Passion Beaumond
Eavesdrop Don
The Understudy Sarfras
Ghost Town Dr. Prashar
2009 The Proposal Bob Spaulding
Today's Special Samir
2010 It's Kind of a Funny Story Dr. Mahmoud
The Last Airbender Commander Zhao
2011 Margin Call Ramesh Shah
Dark Horse Mahmoud
2012 Premium Rush Raj
The Dictator Doctor
Ruby Sparks Cyrus Modi
2013 Movie 43 Robert Segment "iBabe"
The Internship Mr. Chetty
Us & Them Dave Coaches Television Series
2014 Million Dollar Arm Ash Vasudevan Filming

Writer[edit]

Year Film Notes
2009 Today's Special

Stage[edit]

Actor[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Suburbia Norman Chaudry
1995 Death Defying Acts Delivery Boy In one-act "Hotline"
1997 Crosscurrents Paul
1998 Sakina's Restaurant One man play
2002 Oklahoma! Ali Hakim Revival

Writer[edit]

Year Title Notes
1998 Sakina's Restaurant

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Deggans, Eric (June 1, 2008). "For Aasif Mandvi, cultural irreverence on 'The Daily Show'". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on December 14, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  2. ^ "COMEDY CENTRAL'S "THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART" TAPS AASIF MANDVI TO JOIN THE "DAILY SHOW" NEWS TEAM AS A CORRESPONDENT" (Press release). Comedy Central. March 12, 2007. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  3. ^ Kilachand, Tara (May 31, 2008). "‘In the US, they say Indians are always laughing’". Livemint. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  4. ^ "‘Interview with The Last Airbender’s Aasif Mandvi: Part II’". 
  5. ^ a b c Sarfraz Manzoor (June 7, 2009). "'I get to sit on the fence between cultures': Sarfraz Manzoor talks to Aasif Mandvi, the Daily Show's 'fake news' correspondent". The Guardian. 
  6. ^ "‘Asif Mandvi – Biography’". IMDB. December 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ "25 NEW FACES OF INDEPENDENT FILM". Filmmaker Magazine. 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  8. ^ Horwitz, Simi (March 29, 2002). "Aasif Mandvi: Giving Broadway a Persian Hello". Back Stage. Retrieved November 7, 2008. 
  9. ^ Associated Press (April 16, 2013). "Ayad Akhtar's ‘Disgraced,’ play about a dinner party gone awry, wins Pulitzer Prize for drama". Washington Post. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "Aasif Mandvi & Michael Ian Black Join New Fox Series ‘Us & Them’". Deadline. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  11. ^ Priyanka Boghani (November 12, 2009). "New York City's Indian Film Festival: MIAAC". Huffington Post. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  12. ^ Sciretta, Peter (November 30, 2009). "Ryan Fleck's It's Kind of a Funny Story Begins Production". Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010. 
  13. ^ "New role for 'Daily Show' reporter". MLive. May 9, 2009. Archived from the original on September 5, 2009. 
  14. ^ Fuerstenberg, Brittany. "Aasif Mandvi: Comic Relief for Pakistan". MSNBC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 

External links[edit]