Born in Mumbia, Maharashtra, India, actor Sunkrish Bala began to develop a love for acting at a young age. Growing up, he was involved with theater, going from high school to the School of Theater, Film, and Television at UCLA, from which he graduated in 2006. From there, he’s guest starred on a variety of television shows, including Will & Grace, Grey’s Anatomy, My Name is Earl, Bones, Lie to Me, and NCIS: Los Angeles, as well as earned recurring roles on shows such as Awkward, Shameless and The Walking Dead, in which he played Dr. Caleb Subramanian, and series regular roles on Notes from the Underbelly and I Just Want My Pants Back. He recently joined the cast of Castle as the character Vikram Singh, and can soon be seen in the comedies Chee and T and Killing Poe. I had the opportunity to ask Sunkrish about his new role on Castle, what it was like to work on The Walking Dead and his dream to be on The Amazing Race. Check it out below!
What inspired you to go into acting?
I’d always done theater growing up, but I never really considered it a viable career option. When it came time to apply to college and figure out what I wanted to do with my life, nothing else really made sense.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
This part on Castle is pretty great. I get to run around and shoot guns. That’s new for me. I’ve also got a role in an upcoming movie called “Chee and T” where I play a sort of gangster hustler type. I think I’m excited about these right now because I’m usually stuck behind a desk.
What did you enjoy the most about working on “The Walking Dead”?
I loved Scott Wilson and Andy Lincoln. Scott’s an absolute legend and Andy’s just supreme commitment to the role and the world is so infectious.
You’ve guest starred and had recurring roles on a variety of television shows. Is there a show that you’d love to guest star on that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet?
I want to do a multi-camera sitcom again soon. Those are just so fun. They’re like live theater every week. Or I wish I could be on the crew of the next great Star Trek series. Also, me and my roommate– he’s an actor too: Sterling Sulieman– are determined to get on (and win) The Amazing Race.
How would you describe your “Castle” character, Vikram Singh?
Vikram is a guy that’s been thrust into this incredibly dangerous situation. He’s way out of his element and in a world he doesn’t belong in, but somehow manages to retain a sense of humor. I like that about him.
In what ways would you say that he is like you and in what ways would you say he is different?
I’d probably cry more than he does if assassins were after me. (Laughs).
How many episodes will Vikram be in this season?
I don’t know! But the more the merrier, amiright?!
What has been your favorite scene to film on “Castle” so far?
My first episode on the show, I got to speed around in a Porsche, shoot bad guys and dodge machine gun fire. Those were all firsts for me.
Did you know the show before landing the role? If not, did you watch some episodes?
I knew the show, but not as well as I would have liked, so I asked the powers-that-be to give me “a few seminal episodes” so that I could better acquaint myself. They handed me a stack of a hundred. I got through them in a couple of weeks and am now a huge fan!
What was the audition process like? So far, who else have you been able to work with, beside Stana?
I read a couple of times for this role against a bunch of other brown faces. My final audition, there were like 30 people in the room watching. That’s when I kind of figured out Vikram was sticking around for a while.
Besides your character, who is your favorite character on the show?
I think Stana and Nathan are both pretty amazing. To walk the line week to week playing these lovable people doing a very serious job… it’s not as easy as they make it look, I’m sure! I love watching them.
What can we expect from this season of “Castle”?
I think the best way to describe this season is to call it a new twist on the same show you’ve loved all these years.
The next episode of “Castle” airs Monday, October 12, at 10:00 pm on ABC. You can also follow Sunkrish on Twitter at @sunkrishbala!