LOS ANGELES – Rising actor Ash Thapliyal is taking-off as NASA scientist Dr. Persad alongside Allison Janney, Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Epps and young actress Mckenna Grace in the new dramedy feature film, TROOP ZERO, premiering on Amazon Prime on January 17, 2020.
The feel-good family film comes from UK directing duo Bert & Bertie (Dance Camp) and writer Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild), and made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Set in rural 1977 Georgia, TROOP ZERO follows a misfit girl, who dreams of life in outer space. When a national competition offers her a chance at her dream, to be recorded on NASA’s Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime and beyond. Thapliyal steps into the storyline as Dr. Persad, the NASA scientist assigned to travel the world curating the Golden Record.
Thapliyal was thrilled at the opportunity to play Dr. Persad, adding “The character originally had a different more American sounding name, so I assumed there was a low chance that a NASA scientist of the 70’s would be shown as an Indian. I was pleasantly surprised when I was cast, but really appreciated the directors Bert and Bertie’s willingness to think outside the box.”
TROOP ZERO first made its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and then went on to screen at several other prestigious festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival and AFI Fest.
Originally from Mumbai, India, and now based in Houston, Texas, Thapliyal has been building a solid reputation on the indie film scene and beyond. Educated in Engineering and working in the technical field, it was just over 5 years ago that Thapliyal was looking for a major life change. At first, he turned to singing, performing as part of an Indian band for two years. Then, he went on to become a local radio presenter, while also training to be an actor. He eventually made the decision to pursue it professionally and, since then, has worked on numerous indie projects with some of the biggest names in entertainment. His most recent credits include the action-drama AmeriGeddon, the horror tale The Devil’s Candy, the family comedy A Curry on an American Plate, and an appearance on the CBS hit series NCIS: New Orleans.
Up next, Thapliyal will appear as the President of India in Melissa McCarthy’s new comedy thriller, Superintelligence, directed by Ben Falcone and debuting on the new HBO Max platform in 2020.
Fans can follow ASH THAPLIYAL on Instagram: @ashthapliyal.actor