The Actor: Ameet Chana
Sexiest Qualities: Charming and Humble
Ameet Chana won the world’s heart as Tony, the best friend of Jess in the smash hit Bend It Like Beckham. It was the first time many of us had seen this actor who had been selling his wares since the age of 14, but it certainly won’t be the last. Chana fairly recently finished a two year stint on the hit BBC soap opera, East Enders. He now has a whopping three films releasing this year, including Cash and Curry, a movie which he performed in and executive produced and Run Fat Boy Run, directed by David Schwimmer. Additionally, we will catch a glimpse of this up and coming star in the Bollywood flick, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom with the legendary Amitabh Bachchan.
Chana considers his success in Bend It Like Beckham his proudest professional achievement to date. The movie was a global sensation that essentially put him on the map. How has this new-found celebrity impacted him? Chana answers, ”People now recognize me and I am able to get better-quality work. ” Following Bend It Like Beckham he became part of the first South Asian family to move into town on the British serial East Enders. As Adi Ferreira, he was able to enter viewer’s homes four days a week, in a sense becoming public property. According to the profoundly eloquent actor, ”Fame is only a by-product of what I do. ” The secret to his success is his dedication and commitment to his craft. He emphatically states, ”You can’t do it willy-nilly, you have to give it your all-- 100%. ” He also allows the script to show him the correct road to follow, and lets the writers’ instinct shine through his performances.
One of the actors that he admires most is Ray Winstone known mostly as a character actor in both Hollywood and in the UK. Chana aims to have a parallel professional path to Winstone’s and hopes to achieve comparable success in the business. As far as South Asian actors are concerned, Amir Khan is a performer that Chana both venerates and looks to for inspiration.
Although he has witnessed positive changes in the industry for South Asian performers over the years, Chana feels that there still aren’t enough good roles in the UK for different ethnicities. In addition, he says, ”There are more character-driven roles and open-mindedness towards South Asians stateside ” and sites characters currently on hit shows such as NBC’s ER and Heroes. Chana also speaks of the ”Catch-22 ” effect in the UK because producers are still wary to cast diverse cultures and on the flipside, the communities are apprehensive to have their culture illustrated in entertainment. He elaborates, ”Many groups think, ‘This is not like our family.’ ” The actor believes that portrayals of South Asians either run the risk of being considered stereotypical or ”too British ”.
Although Chana intends to continue performing, he also has an interest in participating behind the scenes. In the near future, Chana anticipates adding ”Director ” to his resume as well. A film production company in Britain is another dream the young actor harbors. Besides acting, Chana is also an accomplished DJ and has hosted a radio program on the BBC Asian Network.
Finally, in his own words, what qualities make Ameet Chana ”Sexy? ” ”Confidence in myself ”, says the newlywed. Married in February 2006, this cute and charming man is officially off the market, a fact that his lawyer/actress wife Shikha Varma doesn’t mind one bit.