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Actor Vas Saranga Is The Millennials’ Leading Man

Sep 19, 2017

Vas Saranga knew acting was his true calling in high school, where he realized his love for film. His determination and hard work eventually scored him a role on a Disney show, which opened the door to many of his other big acting breaks. 

 “I enjoyed being in front of the camera more than being behind it and decided that the best way for me to be a storyteller was by becoming an actor,” he recalls.

Born in Calgary, and raised in Toronto, Saranga says he caught the acting bug as a child growing up watching his idol, Michael J. Fox, on the big screen. Although Fox continues to inspire him, along with other creative minds, he says people aren’t his only sources of inspiration. “By listening to a song, reading a novel, watching a film or seeing a play, I get daily inspiration,” he explains, adding “It keeps me in tune with my own ideas and how I want to express them.”

Vas Saranga
Vas Saranga. Photo Credit: Vipoositha Gnanenthra

He really fostered his artistry in high school as he landed lead roles in several student films. He also worked behind the camera, even earning the screen arts award for several years, to which he credits perfecting the language of film. It was through making his short films, he recalls “[learning] how every shot, composition, camera move, edit, musical cue, sound effect, and blocking decision helps to tell a story on screen.” This really honed his acting skills, and allowed him to approach each role from a filmmaker’s perspective.

Graduating high school knowing exactly what he wanted his future to look like, Saranga pursued his post-secondary education at York University. He continued to cultivate his skills by emerging himself in acting classes and hiring a private coach. That’s when he was truly able to get into the mind of an actor. Something, he explains, differs from a filmmaker’s mind because you become more in tune with your emotions and being in the moment.

Vas Saranga
Vas Saranga. Photo Credit: Vipoositha Gnanenthra

It wasn’t too long before the acting gigs starting coming in. His first,  in 2007, as webmaster in the first two seasons of TVO’s A World of Wonders, a children’s show that took viewers on a cross-country adventure. Then Saranga landed a supporting role in a spin-off film for the wildly American Pie series. He played Bandhu, in the sex-comedy about joining a frat and getting the girl. In fact, Saranga says, American Pie Presents: Beta House is the best movie production he’s worked on, attributing that to being able to share the screen with Canadian acting great Eugene Levy. He also met his future wife while working on that film.

Vas Saranga
Vas Saranga in Disney XD action series Aaron Stone. Photo Credit: Aaron Stone

But his big break, he says, without a doubt, was in 2009, when he was cast in a reoccurring role in the Disney XD action series Aaron Stone that tells the story about a teen enlisted to become the real-life hero from the fictional video game he plays. Saranga says this show launched the new Disney network, and his role as nerdy and traditional Vas Mehta/Vasuvius from Kolkata, India opened the door for many more acting opportunities.

From there, his credits went on to include numerous television and film production, like The Border (CBC), Flashpoint (CTV) and The National Tree (Hallmark), among others. Just this year he landed the role of Amar on the final season of the Canadian thriller series Orphan Black, a show about human cloning and its moral and ethical impacts.

Vas Saranga
Vas Saranga in Orphan Black. Photo Credit: Orphan Black

Being of South Asian decent, Saranga’s work often gets compared to other notable South Asian actors in Hollywood like Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel. Something he calls a wonderful honour. “They are both doing such brilliant work and they have been paving the way for other South Asian actors to work in Hollywood. I respect them a great deal, and I take every opportunity I can to sing their praises. Just being mentioned in the same sentence as them is amazing.”

There it is, Saranga is in the fast lane with no signs of slowing down, you can catch him on the CBS thriller Salvation in his reoccurring role as Dexter, a very smart and scientific pentagon analyst who is part of a team who must figure out how to stop an asteroid threatening to hit earth. Next up for Saranga, he’ll appear on season two of the critically acclaimed show about female escorts on Starz, The Girlfriend Experience. He’ll also be in a feature film, Little Italy, (out in 2018) a romantic comedy starring Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts. All while continuing to work on his writing and directing, as well as enjoying time with his four-legged friends, being the avid pet lover he is.

Main Image Photo Credit:  Vipoositha Gnanenthra

Neetu Seupersadsingh

Neetu Seupersadsingh

Author

Neetu Seupersadsingh has loved writing for as long as she can remember. That's why Carleton University’s journalism program  was her clear choice for post-secondary studies. In Ottawa, she was able to further develop her skill in arts, entertainment and lifestyle reporting. So...

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