Omi Vaidya

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Omi Vaidya
Vaidya in 2011
Born (1982-01-10) January 10, 1982 (age 41)
Alma mater
Years active2003–present
Known for3 Idiots (2009)
Minal Patel
(m. 2009)

Omi Vaidya (born January 10, 1982) is an American actor of Indian descent who works in Bollywood films. He is best known for his performance as Chatur Ramalingam or "Silencer" in the 2009 buddy-drama film, 3 Idiots.[2] In addition, Vaidya has played roles on The Office and Arrested Development. Omi has directed many short films and worked as a feature film editor. He has also appeared in a number of commercials and works as a producer.[3]


Vaidya was raised in Joshua Tree in Yucca Valley, California.[4] He graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and later attended the University of California, Santa Cruz for two years. He then transferred to the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and graduated with honors.[2]

Vaidya commented on his background in an interview:

I live in Los Angeles, USA. That's where I grew up, but every year we used to come to India. My native place in India is Goa and I also did visit Mumbai quite often during my growing up days. I started acting when I was about six in Marathi mandal nataks and some English plays in the US. I learned more about acting in high school and that's when I became really serious about films as a career. I went to NYU film school and learned the ropes of filmmaking, editing, acting, etc. I learned the technical language used on the sets. After graduating in honors from NYU, I went back to Los Angeles and began auditioning for roles in T.V. serials and films.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Vaidya married Minal Patel on August 22, 2009. In 2015, Minal gave birth to their first child. Their second child was born in 2018.[6]


After college, Vaidya began to work as an editor for horror and South Asian feature films. He continued to act as well and received small roles in television programs and commercials. After receiving a small role in Arrested Development, he was asked to audition for the role of Sadiq for The Office by the same casting director. He portrayed Sadiq in two episodes: "E-mail Surveillance" and "Fun Run." He was also seen in Bones.

3 Idiots[edit]

Vaidya's most notable performance is in a supporting role in the 2009 Bollywood film, 3 Idiots as Chatur Ramalingam (or "The Silencer"). He received strong reviews for his performance.[7][8] Vaidya auditioned for the role of Chatur while on a trip to Mumbai. After passing the first audition, he was asked during the second to read dialogue from Lage Raho Munna Bhai. Vaidya states that he "just rattled it off without exactly understanding the words, almost like the speech scene in 3 Idiots." After being signed for the part of Chatur, he was told not to study Hindi, not to watch Hindi films, and to gain weight.

Of his success in the film, Vaidya credits the atmosphere of the cast and crew stating that in Mumbai there is "a personal touch, unlike Hollywood. Even if they don't pay you by the hour and there is no extra time, there is warmth and care. I basically saw my Bollywood innings as a challenge. A lot of credit also goes to Raju and Abhijat Joshi for the way the character came across on screen."[2] He was also discouraged from providing interviews before the release. Vaidya states: "Before the film released, I asked director Rajkumar Hirani if I could give a couple of interviews. He stopped me saying nobody knew me and I should wait till the film is released. My role was a surprise they had planned for the audience."[9] Vaidya later recalled that, "When I was at the premiere of 3 Idiots, no one recognized me. I was a bit depressed but when it got over, it was difficult for me to even get out of the theater. I have been enamored by the love and appreciation I have received from the audience. Today, when I go out on streets, people come and shake hands with me. It feels nice."[10]

Big in Bollywood[edit]

Big in Bollywood (2011) is a documentary film about American actor Omi Vaidya's journey from a struggling Hollywood actor to a successful Bollywood breakthrough with 3 Idiots. It was sold to Netflix and is now available on YouTube.[11]


2010 Screen Awards

2010 IIFA Awards

2008 The Valley Film Festival

  • Won: Best Short Film – The Desert Rose

2008 Port Townsend Film Festival

  • Won: Best Film with Diversity Theme – The Desert Rose

2008 The Valley Film Festival

  • Won: Best Student Film – Out of Time

Selected filmography[edit]


Year Film Role Notes Ref.
2007 Rolling Assar
2009 3 Idiots Chatur Ramalingam a.k.a. "The Silencer" [14]
2011 Big in Bollywood Himself Documentary
Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji Milind Kelkar
Desi Boyz Ajay
2012 Players Sunny Mehra
Jodi Breakers Nano
2017 Mirror Game Vikram
2018 Blackmail Boss DK
Astro Dr. Ramesh
2023 MR-9 : Do or Die Scientists US-Bangladeshi Joint Production Movie

Television series[edit]

Year TV Show Role Notes
2005–2007 The Office Sadiq Episodes: "E-mail Surveillance"
"Fun Run"
2008 Life Vairam
Bones Hamid Hirani Episode: The Crank in the Shaft
2009 Kath & Kim Prakash
Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight Fish
2014 Growing Up Fisher Elliot
2015 For Here or to Go Lakshmi
2016 Brown Nation Balan Sree Ramakrishnan
2019 —present Metro Park (web series) Kannan

As director[edit]

Year Film Notes
2007 Out of Time Short Film
The Desert Rose

As editor[edit]

Year Film Notes
2003 Out of Time Short Film
2004 Delusion
2005 Bloodshed
2006 The Gold Bracelet
2007 Remember the Days
2008 Blind Ambition


  1. ^ Parkar, Shaheen (January 11, 2010). "Wife's Chatur, too!". MiD DAY. Archived from the original on May 14, 2013. Retrieved January 18, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Don't typecast me: Omi". The Times of India. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2013.
  3. ^ "Omi Vaidya: The 4th Idiot". December 28, 2009. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "CMFH Interviews – Omi Vaidya". Archived from the original on October 15, 2008.
  5. ^ "I don't want to play another Chatur" – Omi Vaidya Archived February 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "It's a boy! Omi Vaidya aka Silencer of 3 Idiots is a proud father". dailybhaskar. June 24, 2015. Archived from the original on October 11, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Masand's Movie Review: 3 Idiots, satisfying not best". IBM Live. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved December 28, 2009.
  8. ^ "Review: 4 Idiots". Kolkata Mirror. Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  9. ^ Idiot on the roll Archived October 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ " : Bollywood News, Reviews, Celebrity News, Hollywood news, Entertainment News, Videos & Photos". Archived from the original on March 10, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Heymont, George (December 1, 2011). "Big in Bollywood (That's What Friends Are For)". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on December 1, 2014. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
  12. ^ Winners for Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards 2010 Archived May 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "IIFA Awards 2010 Winners". June 8, 2010. Archived from the original on August 29, 2018. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "It's Sept 5! Silencer AKA Omi Vaidya from 3 Idiots openly challenges Rancho to see his 'success' story".

External links[edit]