Office Space actor makes compelling directorial debut

Known for comedic roles—most recently a spot on the HBO series Bored to Death—Ajay Naidu flexes his writing, directing and lead acting muscles in Ashes.

Audiences may recall his photocopier-smashing slapstick as Samir in Office Space, but Naidu’s latest indie film role is far from familiar.

Ashes is a dark and edgy portrait of two Indian-American brothers set in New York City’s underbelly. Tackling topics of organized crime and mental illness, Naidu says much of the story draws on his experience growing up “between cultures” in Chicago.