True, the Big Bang Theory sitcom of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady is loved globally for its amazing cast and characters. While many have identified Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) and Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) as their favourite guys from the American television series, they would equally agree that the show wouldn’t have gathered the exceptional ratings it has without characters like Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik), Stuart (Kevin Sussman), Bernadette (Melissa Rauch), his husband in the show, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and of course, the Indian dude, Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).
Being Rajesh, a guy who initially could only talk to women after he takes alcohol is without a doubt, Kunal Nayyar’s acting career breakthrough. He literally came out of nowhere with a big bang, announcing himself in the movie industry with the Big Bang Theory role. The very first time he spoke to a female (Penny) on the show remains one of the favourite moments not only because he has finally talked to a lady but also for the punchline he started with:
“Ever since I was a little boy my father wanted me to be a gynaecologist. How can I be a gynaecologist, I can barely look at a woman in the eye!”
Before Kunal got to be Raj in 2007 on the CBS sitcom, he could only boast of appearing as a pizza man on 2004’s S.C.I.E.N.C.E and as Youssef Zidan in an episode of the police crime drama tv series – NCIS.
To be fair, there was more to that. Kunal was quite active in theatre works. It is known that he worked with the popular Royal Shakespeare Company in England. It was from his activities in several theatre productions that he gained his earliest exposure as an actor. While he portrayed several characters on London stage, it was his role as Navin in 2006’s Huck and Holden at Dahlia Theater in Los Angeles, the United States that earned him a notable recognition. Playing an Indian exchange student desperate for the American experience earned Kunal Nayyar a Garland Award. He was honoured as the Best Male Lead in a Play; that was in 2006.
Sometime in the past, Kunal expressed that his journey to fame, to being a renowned actor hasn’t been a smooth ride; but one of many sleepless nights and sacrifices. At a point, he had to isolate himself to learn and improve his acting skills. He was ecstatically happy when he landed the Raj role but was, according to him, “incredibly nervous”.
Kunal Nayyar Bio – The Early Days Of His Life
As it is very obvious that Nayyar has the physical features peculiar to Indians, he has been almost always, rightly described as an Indian actor. Nonetheless, he is as well, oftentimes hailed as a British actor. This, to a fairly significant extent, has left many of his fans confused. Well here’s how it is – Kunal Nayyar was born in England. He was birthed on the 30th day of April 1981, in Hounslow, London. However, his family, a few years after his birth, decided to relocate to New Delhi, India where Kunal was brought up.
In view of the above, Kunal wouldn’t disagree with anyone who regards him as an Indian-British. As the story goes, Kunal in 1999 left New Delhi for the United States of America. All he had in mind was to settle in the University of Portland, Oregon and acquire for himself a B.Sc in Business. He earned the degree but couldn’t help picking up an interest in acting. It is claimed that he initially started participating in school plays just to make friends. Eventually, he started taking acting lessons and couldn’t get himself to turn his back on acting thereafter. As such, his graduation from the Portland university saw him make a move to the Temple University in Philadelphia where he earned his Master’s in Fine Arts degree.
He landed the Big Bang Theory role shortly after he graduated from Temple. Since then, he has played a handful of other film and television roles. The most recent among them include being Tony and Karim respectively on 2014’s movies – Dr Cabbie and The Scribbler. Beyond those, he portrayed Guy Diamond in 2016’s Trolls and was the voice of Vijay in Sanjay and Craig which aired on Nickelodeon from 2013 to 2016.
His Salary and Net Worth
Owing to the incredible success of Big Bang Theory, fans of the show all over the world have been endlessly seeking for information on how much the casts earn from the series. As one would expect, this inquest comes with the desire to know the overall value of the wealth of the actors. Sadly, this has inspired several estimations of Kunal Nayyar’s net worth which cannot be substantiated. The figures quoted to be the man’s net worth ranges from $5 million to $45 million. The huge disparity in the figures only goes to show that whatever the value of Kunal’s wealth is, is best known to him.
As for his salary, we can tell that the popular American business magazine (Forbes) in 2015, named Kunal as the third guy on its list of the world’s highest-paid tv actors. Then, Nayyar’s earnings stood at $20 million. Two years later (in 2017), Forbes again listed Kunal as one of the most paid tv actors in the world. This time, it was reported that Kunal and other major casts of the show (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco and Simon Helberg) earned $1 million per episode and $24 million for each season of the show.
Nevertheless, owing to the bond the casts have developed amongst themselves, they decided to take a $100,000 pay cut for each episode so as to increase the salaries of Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik. Sweet of them huh? We agree.
Kunal Nayyar’s Wife
Expecting Kunal as Raj to talk and flow effortlessly with ladies may be like asking for the moon, this is not so in Kunal’s real life. In fact, he fixed his eyes on one of the most beautiful Indian maiden – Neha Kapur, the 2006 winner of the South Asian country’s beauty pageant and got married to her sometime in December 2011.
From what we learnt, Kunal had a long distance relationship with the Indian model and actress. The lovers lived millions of miles away from each other. The former beauty queen was living in New Delhi and Kunal, in L.A. They eventually got married and are now living together in Los Angeles.
Height and Body Measurements
The fact that Kunal Nayyar is scared of heights doesn’t mean he is a short man. To the best of our knowledge, he is 6 inches taller than 5 feet (1.71 m). Though we can’t confirm the details of his body measurements yet, it is believed that he weighs around 65kg