Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 11, 2010

Andover native Sharma, 22, a Sundance kid

Role in Moore/Benning film "The Kids Are All Right"

Growing up in Andover, Kunal Sharma knew he wanted to be an actor.

"I wanted nothing else but to be in films," said Sharma, 22. "I had made up my mind when I was a kid that I wanted to be an actor, no matter what."

It is safe to say that dream is coming true, as the Andover native has been seen on TV and in movies, most recently in the independent film "The Kids Are All Alright," which created buzz at the Sundance Film Festival. It stars Julianne Moore, Annette Benning and Mark Ruffalo.

"I feel like everyone has a purpose - do what you're passionate about, do what moves you. Acting is the one thing that I'm so passionate about. I do it all the time, I live it and breathe it and eat it. Taking it away is taking my life away," said Sharma. "I can't think of a single thing that I would be doing (otherwise). Being on a movie set, as stressful it can be, taking a character and breaking it down is so much fun."

At 17, Sharma was recruited by a talent scout and moved to California. Within six months, he landed his first job on "Phil of the Future," a television show on the Disney Channel. In his first major leading role, Kunal played a prince in the Disney Channel movie "The Cheetah Girls: One World," which was filmed in India.

He has also acted on "The Office," "Castle," "Commander in Chief," "Veronica Mars," "Crossing Jordan" and "Hannah Montana."

"I was growing up and leading a very normal life, shooting hoops like any other kid in his driveway ... going to high school, spending all my evenings with my family," said Sharma. "I came out here, and I was like a baby crawling, had no idea of what to do. I had to go from crawling to walking to running."

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