Ashok Kumar Balakrishnan, popularly known as Ashok, has come a long way and worked his way up to the top echelons of the South Indian film scene. He boasts of everything one might look for in an actor: Good looks, great acting and dancing pedigree and the athleticism and nuance to perform dangerous stunts. Born to R. Balakrishnan and Rohini Balakrishnan on 12th December and belonging to a humble background, he was born in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu. However, he was raised in Mumbai. He attended Fatima High School in Vidyavihar and Vani Vidhyalaya in Mulund and completed his SSC in 1997 from the latter. He graduated from Mumbai’s highly reputed St. Xavier’s College, with majors in sociology, psychology, and Hindi Literature. He has an elder brother, Aroon. Learning to perform Bharatnatyam from T.S Kadhirvelu Pillai at the age of four and then also attaining training in Western contemporary jazz ballet, he has performed in various stage shows in India and abroad and has also toured extensively all over the US and Europe for dance projects.
He has been a part of choreographing several Indo-German an Indo-French dance/theatre projects and has worked with the likes of
and Remo D’Souza. Also on his resume is being involved in stage productions like the musical ‘Evita’ directed by
, ‘Love is the Best Remedy’ by Jean Jacques Bellot and ‘Katha’, a movie directed in Hindi by
for which he was commemorated with the ‘Best Actor’ award in IPTA, Manch and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s/Bhavan’s Kala Kendra Theatre Festivals. He has also dabbled into direction, directing the play ‘Cryptic Death’ which was shown in the Thespo Film Festival.
His success and contributions as a choreographer were acknowledged by the state government of Maharashtra and was awarded the revered ‘Nritya Mayur’ award. Before entering the field of acting, he worked as an assistant dance choreographer with
, son of the revered choreographer
and also choreographed plenty of shows which consisted of famous figures like Asha Bhonsle,
. Being extremely keen on cinema from a very young age, he had played the role of in Ramanand Sagar’s ‘
’ for which he was given the ‘Best Child Actor Award’. He received formal training at the Acting Institute and also trained for film stunts, fights and gymnastics. He got off the mark and made his debut with the film ‘Murugaa’. He then went on to do ‘Pidichirukku’ and made a small appearance in a song in the Malayalam movie ‘
’. Recently, he has featured in notable South Indian films like ‘Kannighapuram Sandhippil’ and ‘Vaanam Partha Seemayilae’.