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AVAN JOGIA

 

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Avan Tudor Jogia (born February 9, 1992) is a Canadian actor and singer. He is best known for playing Ben Stark in Caprica, Beck Oliver on Victorious and Danny Desai in Twisted.

 

Jogia was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. His father is a British Indian expatriate who immigrated to Canada, and his mother is of Welsh, English and German descent. Jogia speaks some Gujarati. Jogia is a dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom.

 

Jogia's first role came in 2006, when he played Danny Araujo, the younger brother of a teenage transsexual woman, Gwen Araujo, in the television movie A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story, directed by Agnieszka Holland. He appeared in The CW TV series Aliens in America as the character Sam. In 2008, he appeared as Champ on Gym Teacher: The Movie and Tajid in Spectacular!, both for the Nickelodeon network.

Jogia played Ben Stark in the TV series Caprica, a spin-off of Battlestar Galactica, on the Sci Fi Channel. Jogia portrayed Beck Oliver in the Nickelodeon television program Victorious, which premiered in March 2010; he also appeared as Beck Oliver in the Victorious crossover movie, iParty With Victorious. He co-hosted the Transformers: Dark of the Moon premiere on June 28, 2011 in New York

 

Jogia was cast in the lead role of Danny Desai on the ABC Family series Twisted (originally titled Socio), which premiered on June 11, 2013; the show was cancelled after one season. In 2014, Jogia was cast to play the lead role of King Tut in the miniseries, Tut; the miniseries premiered on Spike on July 19, 2015.

 

He attended Killarney Secondary School until the age of 16, before leaving school to pursue acting full-time. Avan Jogia has been in a relationship with American actress Zoey Deutch since September 2011. He is also best friends with Victoria Justice whom he has known since Nickelodeon film, Spectacular!.

 

Jogia also founded the online PSA organization Straight But Not Narrow supported by his good friend Josh Hutcherson, which is aimed towards changing the attitudes and viewpoints of young, straight people about the LGBT community.

 

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The Vancouver actor who would be king

By: Ryan Porter Special to the Star

Published on Mon Jul 06 2015

 

Avan Jogia, who plays pharaoh Tutankhamun in TV miniseries Tut, is intent on taking his career to the next level.

 

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At 17, Avan Jogia was a struggling (OK, bored) high school student at Killarney Secondary School in Vancouver with enough acting credits on his IMDB page to make him seriously question the point of his math homework.


His parents struck a deal. “Go down to L.A. for six months; if you get a job, good for you, you’re an actor,” Jogia (whose name is pronounced AH-van JO-ghee-a) recalls. “If you don’t get a job, then you have to come back to Vancouver and you have to go back to school.”


Much to the chagrin of stay-in-school advocates everywhere, Jogia was quickly offered the role of the charismatic Beck Oliver on Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice vehicleVictorious. While starring opposite Justice and a then-unknown Ariana Grande made him the toast of the tween mags, Jogia, now 23, was ready for something more.


This month, the Canadian actor gets his chance, playing the iconic Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun in the three-part epic Spike miniseries Tut (premiering July 19 at 9 p.m.). The sand soap is produced by Montreal-based Muse Entertainment Enterprises, known for splashy miniseries such as The Pillars of the Earth and The Kennedys.


“I’ve always been a give-me-the-ball type person,” Jogia says over the phone from his home in Los Angeles, where he is playing with his dog, Maybelle, while reviewing the first cut of a short film he recently directed. “The more responsibility, the more pressure, the more comfortable I feel. For me, I finally got to do the thing that I wanted to do.”

 

Tut fills in the holes in the known history of Tutankhamun by imagining the young pharaoh’s growing suspicion of his advisers, including the scheming Grand Vizier Ay, played by Sir Ben Kingsley.


Shot in Morocco, the production called for Jogia to spend 16-hour days filming elaborate action sequences in oppressive desert heat. He followed a restrictive diet to lose weight for the role and yet no one had more energy on the gruelling shoot.


During a chase sequence, he tripped and cut his hand. Not wanting to interrupt the schedule, he had the onset medic give him stitches during his lunch, then swapped his fighting hand to finish the day. “I was adamant about wanting to finish,” he says. “Slowing down the pace doesn’t help me.”


Kingsley describes Jogia as an “intelligent and alert” co-star. Asked if he mentored Jogia on set, the actor laughs. “I’m not that pompous!” he says. “It’s like tennis: you smash a ball over the net and you want them to smash it back at you to have a great game. If I can play a good game with (my co-star), we’re both learning.”


To Jogia, Kingsley is a personal hero: they share the same Indian-English background. (Jogia’s father is British-Indian and his mother is British-German; his older brother, Ketan, is a music producer in London.)


Jogia says being a mixed race actor in Hollywood has been “a very long journey.” However, he is encouraged by recent casting decisions, including John Boyega’s lead role in the upcoming Star Wars sequel. (Boyega, 23, plays Finn in the film to be released in December.)


“The lead in Star Wars, being a black man: that’s truly amazing,” Jogia says. “It’s going to help further prove that it’s about the story, it’s about the humanity, it’s about the spectacle, and we can watch anyone of any race onscreen and there are no hang-ups.”


The coming months bring a series of meaty dramatic roles that signal Jogia’s eagerness to be taken seriously as an actor. He has pivotal roles in indie films 10,000 Saints, a coming-of-age story with Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld set in the punk scene of ’80s-era New York City, and I Am Michael, the true story of a gay activist, played by James Franco, who became an evangelical heterosexual Christian.


“I’ve been doing this now for nine years,” Jogia says. “And now it’s finally bearing the fruits of labour.”


He compares his own transition from teen idol to leading man to his Egyptian alter ego’s rise to power. “For him it’s solidifying his position as a person of power and freeing his people,” he says. “(My goal) is a little less grand: I just want to tell good stories. We are similar as far as our willpower is concerned. I just don’t have to worry about ruling Egypt.”

 

thestar.com

 
 

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Place of Birth: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Date of Birth: February 9, 1992

Ethnicity:
*Gujarati Indian (father)
*English, Welsh, some German (mother)

 

Avan's father is of Gujarati Indian descent. His mother has English, Welsh, and some German, ancestry.

Some of Avan’s mother’s family moved to Canada from the United States, where they lived for many generations. Avan has said that he speaks “a little bit of French and a little bit of Gujarati”.

Avan’s paternal grandparents were Ramanlal Jogia and Sharda Lodia.

Avan’s maternal grandparents were Hugh Adney Tudor (the son of Adney Jennings Tudor and Lucille Marie Jorden) and Edith Marjory/Joan Griffiths.

*ethnicelebs.com

 

"I think like an American, Act like a Canadian, and dress like an Englishman."

*twitter.com/avanjogia

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