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Ray Panthaki

Writer

Ray is a British actor known for his selective choice of roles. He began his professional acting career when he made his big screen debut in 1998 Brit-flick ‘Tube Tales’ working alongside Bob Hoskins, Jude Law, Ray Winstone and Ewan McGregor but it was after being cast as ’Hassan B’ the nemesis to Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Ali G’, in cult box office hit ‘Ali G indahouse’, that Ray became known to audiences. He then swiftly went on to work with respected directors such as Danny Boyle in ’28 Days Later’ Antonia Bird in ‘Rehab’, Ben Elton on ‘Blessed’ and Richard Wilson in the Olivier award winning play ‘Where Do We Live’.

 

Constantly pushing boundaries, Ray went on to discover, co-produce and star in the controversial hit movie ‘Kidulthood’ a project that he had been working on for over 4 years including throughout his time acting in ‘Eastenders’. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for two British Independent Film Awards in 2006: ‘Best Achievement in Production’ and ‘Best Debut Director’ – subsequently awarded with the latter.

 

In 2007 Ray was nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the prestigious TMA Awards (an award previously picked up by Kevin Spacey and Sir Ian Mckellen) for his highly acclaimed performance in ‘Gladiator Games’ which told the true story of a young British teenager who was killed by his racist cell mate in Feltham young offenders Institute.

 

That powerful performance led Ray to make his West End debut with ‘In My Name’ at the Trafalgar Studios. The black comedy, which was set on the day of the 7/7 bombings in London, earned Ray rave reviews from London to New York, with The New York Times citing his performance as “Charismatic, powerful and stunning”.

 

Since then, Ray has continued to cleverly balance the edgy film roles with more mainstream commercial material. He’s starred in the films ‘Provoked’ alongside Robbie Coltrane and Miranda Richardson, ‘City Rats’ alongside Danny Dyer and Susan Lynch, ‘It’s a Wonderful Afterlife’ alongside Sally Hawkins, Zoe Wanamaker and directed by Gurinder Chadha and the forthcoming ‘Screwed’ alongside James Darcy and Noel Clarke.

 

In 2011, Ray continued to keep creatively evolving. He penned a TV series entitled ‘Jonestown’ and set up Canary Wharf Films – a new British film fund. He directed ‘Life Sentence’ a film he wrote  about the UK’s knife crime epidemic and starred in ‘The Man Inside’ alongside Bob Hoskins and Ashley Walters.