When Kunal Nayyar was cast on The Big Bang Theory, he had only done one episode of television in his life, as a guest on NCIS, where he played a terrorist.
The 33-year-old has come a long way in a short time, getting accolades for his role as Raj, an astrophysicist who we’ve seen grow tremendously as the show progresses.
Having a diverse set of interests, he finds time to balance being a husband with writing a book, and working as a guest DJ.
Here’s what you should know about his career and personal life.
1. His Character Possibly Finds a Girlfriend
At the end of Season 7, Raj breaks the exciting news to the gang that he has slept with Emily, played by Laura Spencer.
The shy physicist met her on a dating site, and although the pair had a slow start, things are now heating up for them.
The show’s producer and writer Steve Molaro confirmed to TV Line that Raj will be basking in the glow of his new relationship as we begin Season 8.
“They are still in the honeymoon of that. And as we go through the season, we will explore more of her personality and what she’s really like,” Molaro dished.
Raj has come a long way in his quest to finding the courage to speak to women.
During the Season 6 finale, he finally speaks to a girl, in this case, Penny, without the assistance of alcohol.
“It’s really wonderful because after playing this character for six years, you see him slowly let his guard down,” Nayyar told The Hollywood Reporter.
2. He Married a Former Miss India
He married Neya Kapur in 2011 after meeting her on a blind date back home in India.
Watch Nayyal’s interview above with Conan O’Brien, where he talks about his over-the-top nuptials.
The wedding, set in Delhi in 2011, was so traditional, that the groom came into the ceremony on a white horse.
He told Vogue India what it was like when he saw Kapur for the first time on their wedding day:
My favorite moment was seeing Neha for the first time that day. It still gives me the shivers to think of how beautiful she looked. I mean, I obviously know my wife is beautiful, the whole world knows she’s beautiful. But there was something more than physical beauty at play when she was walking. It was spiritual, she was a vision. I’ll never forget that till the day I die.
3. He Sees an Increase in Indian Actors
He moved to the U.S from New Delhi in 1999.
At the time he was cast on The Big Bang Theory, he told Buzzfeed there was a dearth of Indian characters on television.
“When I first moved to Los Angeles, and I booked Big Bang, at that time on the air was— I’m trying to think of even a show that had an Indian character on it in 2006. I can’t even remember,” he told the site.
Now, he notices an increase in actors like himself, and said, “Every show has an Indian character in it. Not every show, but a lot of shows have an Indian character in it, and all my friends are working, and that’s really wonderful. And I’ve seen that shift happen in the last three pilot seasons especially.”
4. The Show Taught Him How to Stay Humble
He told the Huffington Post, “It’s taught me a lot about staying humble. You have to be humble because one day you’re on the biggest hit on television, and the next day you’re not working. It happens. I believe in my talent, I believe in my hard work, and I believe in my training. I feel like I’m going to be okay.”
To document his unique story, he is writing a memoir set to be released in 2015.
In a statement about the work, he said, “I’ve cleaned toilets in Portland, been held up for 76 cents in Philadelphia, and my first acting job on TV was playing a terrorist. Also my father thinks he’s James Bond and I once played a Star Wars board game for 36 straight hours. Then I married Miss India. So, why not write a book? It’s the logical next step.”
5. He Can Sing
In the clip above, from The Queen Latifah Show, Nayyar serenades the crowd with some Boyz II Men.
With flowers in hand, he mingles with the audience, belting out his version of “I’ll Make Love to You.”
The actor is also known to dabble as a DJ. In fact, he was a guest DJ for KCRW in Santa Monica. To see his playlist, visit here.