Siraj Huda : Accidental Actor,Natural Talent

Pic courtesy - Vick Krishna 

Born in Orissa, India, Siraj Huda considers himself an accidental actor. He took an unconventional path to his acting career, milking cows in Nepal and teaching ice skating in Dubai on the way. After immigrating to the United States to pursue an MBA, Siraj moved to New York City where he has worked in publishing and as a software engineer. When the recession hit in 2008, Siraj discovered acting and never looked back. His varied life experiences contributed to his ability to get under the skin of the characters he portrays.

Pic courtesy -
 Vick Krishna
You grew up in a rural village in Odisha. How did that influence you as an actor today? 
I did not entirely grew up in the village but did spend chunk of my life there. I had a had childhood because of my dyslexia which I didn’t know until I was fourth and had moved to America. But growing up in a rural setting got me to find myself and my center. Who I am and what are my strengths and weaknesses. I guess that helped me a lot later in life to become an actor.
With all your diverse roles in your credit, which role did you find challenging as an actor? 
Being an older brown actor I usually end up playing typical roles as cab driver or a convenient store clerk. But I have also played door man, a hedge fund manager, NYPD cop, stock broker, doctor or nurse etc. but I usually end up playing father. The most difficult role was playing a Muslim father for a famous long running popular reality show called ‘what would you do’. But it was a show where you are acting but everyone around you are real life regular people and they are reacting to your acting not knowing that you are acting. It was a hidden camera show. We also wear ear pieces where the director is also telling you what to say or do. Really nerve wrecking.
What is an advantage (and/or disadvantage) you have as a “brown actor” in the industry?  
Luckily brown actors are much in demand lately. Also thanks to technology like internet and streaming services there is a lot more demand for new contents and they need more actors. Also it’s easier to produce contents and upload it so a lot more people are producing. My advantage is my age. Since I am an older trained actor I have a lot less competition. I have also started to write and produce short films.

Which do you find harder to do: acting or producing?

I would say acting. Because it needs a lot of training and mental discipline.
Pic courtesy -
Vick Krishna
Please tell us about your upcoming short film?

My second film I have written, produced and acted in is called FREAK. It’s about a desi widowed father and his grown up daughter. And how their relationship is tested when the daughter reveals that is is dating a girl. I have used few techniques like breaking the 4th wall and using voice over which is usually not used in short films. Do I am excited to see the audiences reaction.

It takes a lot of courage, passion and determination to choose acting as a career. Any message that you would like to pass on to the young struggling actors over there?

I am an accidental actor. Glad you asked me this question. I do life coaching for actors. Because no school or teacher teaches them how to keep their ‘sanity’ as actors. Acting is a mind game. So learn to discipline your mind. Things like how to handle rejection, how to pay your bills, how to handle jealously and envy, how to motivate yourself, how to be joyful and positive being an actor, how to know the business of acting and know the big picture, how to handle success, how to define your definition of success, how to manage expectations,how to help others in the industry, how to push your self to find other options in the industry you might be good at ... etc.


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