Ajay Naidu has avoided stereotyping by playing a variety of characters ranging from Latinos to Arabs to Pakistanis. The son of Indian immigrants, he was born and raised in the Chicago area. Encouraged by a grade school teacher, Naidu auditioned for--and won--the role of Maria Conchita Alonso's son in the feature "Touch and Go" (1985) which led to a handful of TV appearances (including "No Greater Gift", a 1985 "ABC Afterschool Special") and two other film roles in "Where the River Runs Black" (1985) and "Vice Versa" (1988). After appearances in local theater, he spent two years at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training run by the American Repertory Theatre (ART) at Harvard. Naidu appeared at ART while a student and after completing his degree landing leading roles in "Romeo and Juliet" in Denver and "Everyman" in Chicago. Richard Linklater tapped the actor to portray the Pakistani owner of a convenience store in "subUrbia" (1997), which in turn led to parts in such independent films as "Once We Were Strangers" (1997), Adam Goldberg's "Scotch and Milk" (1998) and Darren Aronofsky's "Pi" (1998), among others. Naidu also made his TV series debut as a regular playing the people-pleasing intern working at a network news show in "Lateline" (NBC, 1998-99).