Roshan Gidwani: More than Just a Handsome Face

Portia Leigh
5 min readFeb 22, 2018
Actor Roshan Gidwani shot by Olivia Sari Goerlach

While his good looks and charismatic personality have brought actor and television host Roshan Gidwani international attention, it’s his dedication to his craft and his tremendous ability to tap into all aspects of his characters on screen that has made him such a shining success.

Early on in his career Roshan was chosen as Seventeen magazine’s 2010 Summer Hunk in Singapore and one of the Cleo 50 Most Eligible Bachelors in 2011 by Cleo Magazine, awards that have definitely made his face known throughout South East Asia.

“I wanted the recognition. I wanted people to be able to trust me. When I feel like I’m trusted I can do good work and it’s because I feel safe. Reputation is so important,” Roshan admits. “As far as the Seventeen magazine Summer Hunk recognition goes, I always looked at these sorts of magazines and wanted to be in one. I achieved what I wanted. That’s always a good feeling!”

Roshan featured in Cleo Magazine

At the same time he was busy working as the host of the popular series “Discover Guangzhou,” as well as starring in the series “Dragon’s Inn,” where he played the recurring role of Bill and acted alongside longtime friend Benjamin Heng (“Sex. Violence. Family Values.,” “C.L.I.F.”). Roshan encountered something of a snowball effect in his career from that point on, with the talented actor and host going on to land lead role after lead role in series such as “Drive Me Crazy” where he played a starring role as Ryan, and being the host of the series “ArtBus,” “Science Quirks,” “Rap Chef” and more.

Roshan says, “My life is constantly building upon the last accomplishment. How can I improve? How can I do better? How can I impact more people’s lives for the better?”

One project that really sheds light on Roshan’s dedication and the dynamic nature of his craft though is the dramatic dystopian youth film “Faeryville” directed by Tzang Merwyn Tong (“A Wicked Tale”). Roshan has continued to earn immense critical acclaim internationally for his knockout performance in the lead role of AJ, a villainous jock who makes college a living hell for the outcasts of the school.

“Faeryville” director Tzang Tong explains, “I cast Roshan for the part of AJ because I noticed that he is a natural-born leader. From the moment he walked in I knew he could control a crowd and influence his peers. These types of actors are hard to come by and right after his audition I had my mind made up.”

With a theatrical release in Singapore, the world premiere taking place in Los Angeles, and a worldwide release through Amazon, “Faeryville” garnerd a massively positive reception from audiences and critics around the world. In addition to being selected as one of 10 breakthrough Singapore films screened in Malaysia’s ‘Titian Budaya SG’ (Cultural Bridge), “Faeryville” earned the Best Original Story Award at the Jefferson State FLIXX Festival, was chosen as the closing night film for the Brisbane Film Festival, and also screened at the Singapore Film Festival in Malaysia.

“Faeryville” Poster

Similar to Richard Linklater’s Oscar Award winning film “Boyhood,” “Faeryville” was shot over the course of eight years. The film takes place at Faeryville College where a deep rift exists between the local misfits, aka “The Nobodies,” and the dominant popular group of jocks, with Roshan’s character AJ being the leader of the latter group.

“The Nobodies” group in the film is led by Laer (played by Aaron Samuel Yong), a tough kid who grew up in foster care after watching his mother commit suicide. With a chip on his shoulder and feeling as though he always has something to prove, his interactions with AJ and the other dominating forces at school lead him to extreme measures, such as bombing the school, which serves as a major turning point in the film.

With his muscles bursting out of his polo shirt and his pompous and dominating attitude coming through effortlessly with every line and movement, Roshan brings his tough guy character to life so believably that it’s easy to imagine him being like AJ in his everyday life — but that’s just really good acting. At one point in the film AJ, who’s followed by two of his equally detestable comrades, corners the main Nobodies in the bathroom, pouring liter bottles of soda on their heads and telling them they should just leave the school.

Actor Aaron Samuel Yong says, “Roshan would be so jolly when he wasn’t filming and as soon as Tzang yelled ‘action’ he’d switch into this mean, belittling bully which is what his part required. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He worked on his character so much that he was able to jump into his skin and make me feel like I needed to get out of mine.”

One of the key things that separates those in the Nobodies from the oppressive group of jocks that AJ runs with is that they all share the desire to go against the grain and find their unique identities. A coming of age film about a group of outcasts banding together to overthrow the dominant power structure, Roshan says, “Ultimately the movie is a metaphor for being strong in the face of adversity.”

He adds, “‘Faeryville’ is a pretty accurate description of what happens at school in general. And that goes across the board regardless of geographic boundaries. The cool kids are going to intimidate the kids they think aren’t cool. The kids with low self-esteem are going to fight back. Everyone’s going to clash. My favorite part was that the director had a pretty realistic grasp on what school is like. I’m glad to have been a part of it.”

While Roshan Gidwani is undeniably attractive, his ability to immerse himself within a range of complex characters and bring them to life flawlessly on screen has been the driving force in his success internationally. Shortly after the release of “Faeryville” Roshan landed a critical role as a police officer in Tony Kern’s (“Haunted Changi”) fantasy thriller film “Afterimages” where he acts alongside Pamelyn Chee (“Point of Entry,” “2025”) and Sheena Chan (“Silver Lining,” “3 Days Grace”). Over the course of his career Roshan has also starred in a long list of commercials and print ads where his good looks and energetic personality have made him a valuable talent for leading companies around the world. Most recently he was featured in a commercial for Panasonic’s 4k camera, another one for Siemens’ self-driving buses in Singapore, and he continues to be the face of Resorts World Sentosa for the Indian market.

About what drives him to perform, Roshan explains, “It’s a process of stripping what you know and re-learning. I feel lost without the ability to do that… Acting is an adventure. You never really know where it’s going to take you… I enjoy the process. I enjoy the challenge… Acting is a beautiful struggle.”

Follow Roshan on Instagram @roshanslife and find out more about him on his IMDB Page: http://imdb.me/roshangidwani

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Portia Leigh

Portia is a journalist & poet from Los Angeles. You can find her work through №3 Magazine, ElephantJournal.com, Gypsyrich.com, Stillstoked.com and more.