Chicago-born Yale graduate Chetan Kumar was born on February 24, 1983 in Chicago, IL, USA and did his primary education at Marist High School. He studied South Asian Studies with an Emphasis on Comparative Theater Studies in BA and passed his graduation with distinction from Yale University, US in 2005. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to come to India in 2006.
Chetan, a citizen of the United States, did his graduation from the Yale University with a major in theatre. He's also received a Fulbright scholarship to study Kannada rangabhoomi, he's even acted in a bunch of Rangashankara plays. Bayalu nataka is his choice of subject, he has even taught at a school in a village in Mysore. Chetan has an interest in Medieval Deccan history and intends to one day do his PhD on the subject. He also intends to apply what he's studied.
In 2004, he studied South Indian Oral Traditions — Living (the) Kannada Nataka. As a research student, he documented the dialectics of caste, class, and gender in various village/folk and urban forms of South Indian drama through a self-proposed project on Indian theater.
Chetan has also been serving as Rural School Instructor, Mullur, Karnataka from September 2005. He has been voluntarily teaching critical thinking and analytical skills at Vinayaka Gnana Vidya Shale, a K-10 village school 25km away from Mysore, Karnataka.
He is also a Kannada Stage Performer.
His artistic activities that span over twenty years also include modern dance, mono acting, instrumental. Since his college days he has been a choreographer/instructor/stage dancer of Bhangra, actor in English and Kannada plays. He performs Indian classical music (Carnatic) and jazz on the saxophone.
After coming to India in September 2005, Chetan debuted as hero in Kannada films through director KM Chaitanya's debut directorial venture Aa Dinagalu. It was a realistic film set in 1985-86 Bangalore. He got Udaya TV's Best Debut Actor Award for his performance in it. Although his second movie Birugaali, which was released in February 2009, was not a commercially hit film, he got rave reviews from the critics for his performance.
Showing his six-packs bod,Chetan is busy publicizing for an action-based love story Suryakaanti, which features him alongside actress Regina. Directed by KM Chaitanya the movie is set in Uzbekistan, Uttaranchal, Belgaum, Goa, & Bengaluru. He has lots of expectations from the movie, which is releasing this month (December 2009).
Chetan talks about the meeting. "We discussed many things. The director saw my film Birugaali, but he loved my first film, Aa Dinagalu. He said that he had finalised me for the film, after watching Aa Dinagalu. I found the story and screen play interesting. It has a lot of novelty elements. The film is a comedy flick and Shashi is now busy finalising other artists and technicians for the film." The actor does not believe in working in many films. "I am not in a hurry. I want to pick my movies carefully," he concludes.