Actor from St Albans having a Marvel-ous time in Hollywood
- Credit: Archant
A Hollywood actor who grew up in St Albans is starring in Marvel’s latest superhero TV series on Netflix.
Jay Ali, 37, left St Albans nine years ago to pursue his dream of becoming an actor, and now plays FBI Agent Ray Nadeem on the third season of Daredevil.
In the show, which follows blind superhero Matt Murdock as he fight crime in New York, Jay’s character becomes unknowingly involved with villainous businessman Wilson Fisk.
Jay grew up in St John’s Court and attended Fleetville Junior School and Verulam School. Now living in LA, he told the Herts Ad how he became an actor.
“While living in St Albans there’s not much opportunity to go and do acting,” he said. “I played a lot of cricket so I thought I was going to be a cricket player.
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“I just packed up a bag and moved to LA nine years ago. Everyone was like ‘we’ll see you in a couple of weeks’. I started auditioning and getting work. I’ve been very, very lucky.”
Despite his success, Jay was homeless for five years while he worked towards taking on bigger roles. He said: “My first acting job was on the reboot of Melrose Place. I thought that was my big break.
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“It was tough and I struggled - I was homeless and I used to get a foot-long Subway sandwich and that was my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Jay ended up getting a recurring role in family drama The Fosters, which he said “opened up a lot of doors for him”. He travelled to New York to audition for Marvel, not knowing which show he was auditioning for due to the secrecy surrounding the process.
ay said: “It was all amazing - being in such a huge show which is for Marvel and Netflix is unbelievable. I didn’t know the character was going to be so integral to the story when I got the role.
“I’ve been very fortunate that the character is being called the break out star of the show. It’s the role of a lifetime for sure.”
Jay still returns to St Albans every couple of months to see his family. He said: “It’s only when you move away you realise how amazing St Albans is. St Albans is magical - to have that amount of greenery and history.”
For his next project, Jay will be appearing in a film with Suraj Sharma, who starred in Life of Pi.
Daredevil season three was released on Netflix on October 19.