Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub
1983 in Delhi, India
1983 in Delhi, India
Murari from Raanjhanaa and Chintu from Tanu Weds Manu Returns are two of the most notable performances of movie and theater actor Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub. While he holds a B.Sc degree, he chanced upon acting during his college days. Although he is usually seen playing supporting roles in movies, he never fails to make a mark and his performances never go unnoticed, winning him immense praise from critics and the audience alike.
Born to active theater artists, the Delhi-born actor completed his schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya, following which he pursued a B. Sc degree from Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. Both his parents were passionate theater artists, but his father was also a teacher by profession. While his father is Muslim, his mother is Hindu. During his college days, Zeeshan stumbled upon his college`s theater society, which interested him in many ways. Although he was initially reluctant to become a part of theater, his parents encouraged him to explore the various shades of acting. He then enrolled himself at the National School of Drama in New Delhi.
Zeeshan married television actor and theater personality Rasika Agashe in 2007. The couple lives in their Mumbai apartment with their daughter Raahi, who was born in 2015, and two cats - Topi and Huraira.
Zeeshan started his acting career with theater during his college days. Upon completing his training at NSD, he went on to become even more involved with theater. However, he made his Bollywood debut with the 2011 biographical thriller No One Killed Jessica, which saw him play the lead antagonist Monu. The movie, based on the 1999 murder case of Jessica Lal starred Vidya Balan and Rani Mukerji in pivotal roles, went on to garner immense praise from the audience and critics alike. Following his debut, he was seen playing the protagonists` friend in movies like Mere Brother Ki Dulhan with Imran Khan, and Jannat 2 with Emraan Hashmi. Adding a hint of light humor to the romantic drama, Zeeshan`s portrayal of Murari in Aanand L. Rai`s Raanjhanaa made him a recognized face in the industry, earning him a number of award nominations.
Stepping out of his rather monotonous roles, Zeeshan was cast in the biographical drama Shahid, where he was seen playing the role of Arif Azmi, the elder brother of Shahid, whose role is portrayed by Rajkummar Rao. The movie was well-received critically and went on to win two National Film Awards in 2014. He went on to appear in the critically acclaimed Maazii, which despite not having big stars involved in the movie, was a well-received movie with critics stating that it is a movie that must not be missed. His next notable performance came with the 2015 romantic drama, comedy Tanu Weds Manu Returns in 2015, where he played the role of a shameless and street smart Chintu who falls in love with Tanu, the character played by Kangana Ranaut.
Donning the role of a blood-thirsty RAW agent, Zeeshan was seen in the Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif-starrer Phantom in 2015. Although the movie opened to mixed reviews, Zeeshan`s performance was said to be power-packed. Despite becoming a Bollywood actor, Zeeshan continued to be a part of theater, stating, "Theater makes an actor come alive," in an interview. In 2017, the actor was cast in the action crime thriller Raees, which is loosely based on the life of the Gujarat-based criminal Abdul Latif. The movie stars Bollywood`s Badshah Shah Rukh Khan and also marks the Bollywood debut of Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. His other projects include movies like Zero (2018), Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2019), Article 15 (2019), Arjun Patiala (2019) and Chhalaang (2020).