Mem: British Actors’ Equity Associations.
Yusuf, whose real name is Yusuf Patel, was born in Gujarat, India but raised and educated in the UK. He had a childhood ambition to become an actor when he regularly used to watch detective series and at the age of 16. Yusuf told some friends that one day he would be on TV and they laughed. However Yusuf had the burning desire to be an actor and proved himself when he obtained his membership of the British Actors’ Equity Association and started appearing on TV, films and stage.
Yusuf studied drama at Bradford College, whilst taking a degree in Social Science. He also spent two years studying drama at Bradford Playhouse, appearing in several plays and later became an active member of the British Asian Theatre, London where he appeared in community plays.
He first had a taste of working in film, when he auditioned for the James Bond film, “Octopussy”. Since there were no Asian stuntmen with acting experience a number of Asian actors were cast in the film and Yusuf was trained by Bob Simmons the stunt co-ordinator for this film. Yusuf used to watch “The Saint” as a child and so working with Roger Moore and being involved in a fight sequence, chasing Bond in an Indian Bazaar, is one of his most memorable experiences.
Yusuf met Ben Kingsley, a week before he received an Oscar for Ghandi. Ben was performing in the one-man play “Edmund Kean” at the Harrogate Theatre. The manager at the theatre kindly arranged for Yusuf to meet Ben Kingsley who joined him for a drink. Yusuf explained that he was a newcomer to the profession and would welcome any advice. Ben thought for a moment and told Yusuf, “Whatever you do, stick to it.” To Yusuf this was the best advice anyone could give him because he has no intention of quitting acting.
Yusuf also worked with Ann Mitchell at the Everyman Theatre Liverpool, in the female version of the “Comedians” by Trevor Griffiths in which he played Mr Patel. Since then he has worked almost exclusively for TV, films, theatres and Radio.
Yusuf has worked with many well-known actors including Leigh Lawson, Phyllis Logan, Paul Nicholas, Jimmy Logan, Glynis Barber, Michael Brandon, George Costigan Om Puri and Patricia Routledge. He has also worked with many well-known directors (Please see the CV)
Yusuf was again cast in the male version of “Comedians” at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and enjoyed working with the Scottish Comedian Jimmy Logan and other casts in this play.
Yusuf’s future ambition is to direct a movie and he is a great admirer of the British director David Lean.
Apart from playing a comedian, Yusuf’s other roles include a hospital consultant, businessman, terrorist, Policeman, brother, father and smuggler.
In 2003, Yusuf had the opportunity to work in ‘The King of Bollywood’ (English Movie) for I Dream Productions directed by Piyush Jha starring Sophie Dhal the famous British Model and Om Puri. Yusuf played NRI (Non-residential Indian) and almost all his scenes were opposite Om Puri. He is being invited to work in India but he has no such plan at present as he has just launched his own company, Multi-angle Productions. 2003-2006, Yusuf directed 7 corporate videos for the Kirklees and Doncaster Housing departments and a music video for TV. His future plans are to write and direct his own movies.
2007 Yusuf read through the script, ‘Quick Slip Me a Bride’ a comedy Feature film by Raza Mallal, Eyeline Productions. (Yusuf’s character & dates to be confirmed soon). So what type of roles would Yusuf like to play?
Yusuf believes that the Asian community has settled in the UK for over forty years and made a major contribution towards the British way of life. Therefore this should be taken into account by any production companies, thus creating more balance roles. Other than that he would like to leave it to the casting directors to come up with a role for him as he finds this much more challenging.
NON-RELATED CAREER: In between acting career Yusuf also worked as a Trainer/Advisor (working with un-employed) Social Worker and a property businessman. Occasionally Yusuf writes for the local news papers on the subject of entertainments.
HOBBIES/INTEREST: Socialising with friends and family, reading, going to movies and theatres. Jogging, practicing Yoga and making people laugh.
2005, Yusuf Sultan