Mangalorean Rahul Rai Plays Lead in Hollywood's 'When Harry Tries to Marry'

By Joe Gonsalves - USA
A star is born. Rahul makes Mangalore proud - brings credit to his parents, Dr Dinker Rai and Shakila - Brings honour to the Bunt community in Mangalore

New York, Nov 2: Millions are struck by the aura of cinema, be it art or commercial. Hollywood and Bollywood have no doubt, played their part in capturing the imagination of many youngsters. There are those who are so captivated by this form of entertainment that they aspire for greater involvement in this creative art. It is this kind of aspiration that has given the world great contributors to cinema in form of directors, script writers, music directors and actors. Rahul Rai is one of those aspirants.

Born in 1991 in Long Island, New York to Dr. Dinker B. Rai and Shakila Rai, Rahul grew up like any regular Indian American kid. His parents, being very proud of their Mangalore (BUNT) heritage, spared no effort in ensuring that he carried appreciation for his culture and his family’s origins. He speaks fluent Tulu and his favorite food includes ‘Kori Rotti’ and ‘Yetti Ajadhina’. His grandfathers are Late K. Narayan Rai (famous criminal lawyer of Mangalore) and Konnibail Seetharam Shetty.

Rahul was introduced to Karate as a young kid and finished his black belt at the age of 12. In many ways, karate not only instilled discipline in him but also gave him the flexibility and athleticism that helped him in his future endeavors. Since a young age, he was captivated with dance and idolized Michael Jackson, Govinda and Hrithik Roshan. These great individuals initiated his interest in dance and that led him to practicing dance for hours and hours, in the basement of his home. In order to fine tune his dancing skills, he joined Bollywood Performing Arts School in Long Island, New York and studied under the tutelage of Anil Diwaker, who had experience working with Bollywood superstars. Rahul also did a short stint at Shiamak Davar’s dance school in Mumbai during his summer vacations.

Rahul soon began performing dance at community events and took part in dance competitions such as ‘Boogie Woogie’. All along, he also nurtured a desire for acting and was contemplating joining the Tisch School of Performing Arts at the New York University. It was a matter of coincidence that Nayan Padrai, an upcoming Hollywood Director, noticed Rahul at a dance show and was taken over by his talent. He immediately signed Rahul for his forthcoming movie ‘When Harry Tries to Marry’.

The script for ‘When Harry Tries to Marry’ was co-written by Nayan and his partner, Ralph Brown. Their script has already won many film festival awards and other recoginition and has an ‘east meets west’ theme to it. The movie, shooting for which began on 21st of October 2009, is a romantic comedy in which Rahul plays the lead role of Harry. Starring opposite him are actresses Stephanie Estes and Freishia Bomanbehram. Osvaldo Chavez Hernandez plays his college roommate.


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