Sonny Chatrath Actor By Chance Staying In Industry Is A Choice
Breaking into acting was by chance but staying in the industry is a choice!
Freehold, NJ: In a career spanning 30 years, and 6 jobs, acting as 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 instead. 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.
“I take on things that scare me head-on because I don’t want to live a life of regret knowing that I did not give it my best shot.”
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, as well as the Hindi feature film “Mirror Game” which is available on Netflix.
Sonny can also be seen 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, just to name a few. Sonny has also produced a few short films and a web series under the “Rhea Films” banner.
Let’s find out more in an interview with Sonny Chatrath
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I came to this country in 1991 to pursue my college degree in New York. I have been working in Corporate Travel for the last 29 years. I started my acting career in 2007 while shooting a TV commercial for my own company, and went on to work in feature films, Television shows, and TV Commercials, as well as live cooking shows. I turned a producer with my first short film, Proof. I am presently working on a few projects which are in pre-production.
Why did you decide to move to the USA?
I moved to the US to pursue my college degree.
Tell us about your career as an actor and what are your goals for the next few years.
I am a natural actor. I like to play the antagonist, and I also like comedic roles. I am focusing my energies more on interviewing celebrities and producing films and less on acting. I have already produced three short films, as well as a web series. I am currently working on a few feature films as well, as a producer.
What else you do besides be an actor and a producer?
I am the sales director for a corporate travel agency in New York City. We are an American Express Rep Office. I have been in the industry since 1991.
You just had a 20-year marriage anniversary. Tell us how do you balance work and relationship?
I consider my wife to be my best friend, my ally, and my partner in crime. She always supports me in everything I do. I can dedicate time to all my activities because of her. Our schedules are extremely tight, but because of each other, we can devote time to things we like to do, such as spend time with our two lovely daughters and spend time with friends. We have a small circle of friends we have known for the same amount of time that we have been married.
Tell us about your page south Asian actors on Instagram.
I launched @southasian.actors to feature South Asian Artists from North America, so they can get the recognition they deserve. I am glad artists see value on the page and ask me to feature them via DM. This is just a small gesture to make them feel appreciated. I want to show them that they do have a voice in the community. I am not funded by anyone, and I do not have any corporate sponsors taking care of any of my activities. We recently helped Suniel Shett’s company FTC Talent promote their platform via our group, and I am pleased to tell you that quite of few filmmakers were able to get their films short-listed, in fact, the show was hosted by one of our members, Prashantt Guptha, whom I interviewed recently. I consider this “Seva” is a Sikh, I believe in serving the community.
What made you start the page?
As mentioned above, this is my gift, my Seva to the South Asian Actors’ community.
Where do you see your page in a few years?
I see this page bloom into a portal where South Asian Actors will be able to create and manage their profiles and casting directors to find the right talent for their projects. I even envision our own awards, and grants for South Asian Artists, sponsored by corporations. I have dreams and need support in fulfilling them.
If life gives you lemons? You make Achaar (pickles).
Few words for the readers……
My sincere advice to actors is, do not quit your real job while you are trying to make it in this industry. I have seen far too many cases where actors give up their stable jobs, hoping to make it big and finding out they made a mistake. I also know a few actors who took the leap and became really successful, but that is a leap of faith, so remember, never take a decision in haste.