The stars in his eyes have magnified since Mornington Peninsula Magazine spoke to actor Ajay Banks last year after his study in L.A.
A move to Canada is paying off for the Peninsula Grammar Old Boy, with a new agency (MVM Agency), new classes and an audition for a small role in a Netflix series. At last month’s New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam Ajay won Best Actor for his role in Always, which he also wrote and produced and which was nominated for Best Film. Yet Ajay remains humble and credits his team for the film’s success.
Ajay channelled his grief at the death of his grandparents into Always. It’s fictitious but inspired by his feelings, and it’s so powerful in its raw aesthetic that you feel like you’re a fly on the wall as you get a snapshot of the worst time in a person’s life.
“It was cathartic to write about this boy who was grieving for his mother and how the people around him were grieving in their own way,” he says.
Thirst for the limelight does not motivate this mature young actor, nor does financial reward. “I’m not in it for the money,” he says. He has simply never wanted to do anything else. Acting from the age of 15, his passion just keeps growing. With a strong desire to tell stories, whether via script or performance, he’s on stage to connect with others.
Ajay also played Brian in The Happiness Curve, which was well received at the LA Webfest; it was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing and picked up the award for Outstanding Ensemble Cast. This international recognition was just that extra push he needed to make the move abroad. It’s a delightfully funny web series with heart thrown in too. Ajay enjoyed portraying Brian, who was a very different comedic yet intense character; a portrayal that was new to the actor.
His advice? “When you want to give up, you shouldn’t.”
W: Watch The Happiness Curve online at happiness-curve.com