Ali Afshar bio
Raised in Northern California, Ali Afshar grew up in the green Sonoma Mountains of Petaluma. His passion for speed and entertaining was evident at a very early age as his family could often find him racing motorcycles and horses at the age of 5 on their 200—acre ranch. The son of Eskandar Afshar and Leila Kasra Afshar, he is the youngest of 3 brothers. His father is an international agricultural business man and his mother was a world renowned Persian poet and lyricist before her passing in 1989. In addition to his parents guiding influence, Ali experienced a vast variety of life experiences following in the footsteps of his two older brothers, Pasha and John. He grew up competing in Break-Dancing & Bicycle Freestyle events all over Northern California. Once he tasted freedom with his drivers license at age 16, Ali won his first High School Challenge for drag racing at Sears Point International Raceway, representing Casa Grande High School. Through high school, Ali could be found almost every week at the Sears Point Raceway competing in the Wednesday Night Drags, racing his classic 1967 Chevrolet Camaro. If he wasn’t racing he was in wrestling practice honing his skills. Ali was an outstanding wrestler and set numerous school records. His diligence paid off and made him a California State Finalist in 1991.
After high school, Ali turned his attention to his dream of acting and relocated to Los Angeles. While fulfilling his parents wishes of studying medicine at California State University Northridge, he began to pursue a career in acting for movies and television. Ali immediately started learning from some of the most talented teachers available in Los Angeles and started auditioning. He quickly landed his first job as a skateboarder in a Pepsi/Mirinda soft drink commercial and was then cast as the principle actor in a commercial for the Southern California family water park “Raging Waters”. Ali paired his acting and racing income to pay for his tuition for college which ultimately led to his graduation from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology. However, his true desires soon led him away from medicine and toward Hollywood.
While pursuing his acting career, Ali also founded Easy Street Motorsports (also known as ESX), an automotive performance and race facility that eventually lead him to race for Subaru of America for over 7 years and achieve a certain celebrity racing status. ESX became a 2 Time NHRA National & World Champion Team,18 Time NHRA event champion, 2005 Rally America Champion (with Rocket Rally) and a world record holder! Ali also created the exclusive and highly anticipated “Ali Afshar Signature Series” line of Aston Martin and Subaru vehicles that are sold directly through Subaru and Aston Martin dealerships across the nation. Ali also built the one of a kind, carbon fiber, full tube chassis, 1400HP, all-wheel drive Subaru. This Subaru set the record for the Worlds Quickest and Fastest All Wheel Drive car and the Worlds Fastest Subaru! This Subaru thunders down the 1/4 mile in 7 seconds at over 175 MPH!
Ali landed his first major television acting role, as (a very fitting) mechanic-racer named “Grease” on the NBC show “Saved By The Bell”. He then started working on a string of feature films such as “Three Kings”, “Godzilla”, HBO’s “Guardian” and “The Siege”. Ali got his first taste of working with great talent on these projects that included award winning directors and actors!
While most of his feature film projects were dramatic roles, Ali started showing his comedic funny bone on the small screen and landed the recurring role of “Sanjib” on the CBS hit show “The King Of Queens”. He kept the smiles going as he worked on another CBS sitcom “City Guys”, had a blast as the singing foreign exchange student “Bjorgy” on the FOX children show “The Masked Rider” and kept everyone on their toes with the very funny “Jamie Kennedy Experiment”. While he was doing all of this “On Camera” work, Ali also enjoyed a voice over gig that spanned over 3 years as the voice of the “Phantom Ranger” on the hit FOX/Saban children TV show “Power Rangers”.
Ali soon returned to his dramatic strengths and landed a 4 episode arc on the CBS show “JAG”. He continued in his serious ways and worked on two more CBS shows, “NCIS” and “The Agency”. He also booked guest spots on the PAX Network show “It’s A Miracle” as well the FOX show “Americas Most Wanted.” This led him right back to CBS where he landed his first leading role opposite Chuck Norris in the CBS Movie of the Week “The Presidents Man: A Line in the Sand”. He quickly followed his leading role and booked another dramatic supporting role on an NBC Movie of the Week titled “Homeland Security”.
Ali took a hiatus from his acting career while his race car driving talents had him traveling across the nation for Subaru of America and ESX Motorsports. After years of full time racing, setting world records and winning national championships were scribed into the history books, Ali turned his full attention back to his acting career in 2009.
Ali started studying with acting coach, author and award winner “Scott Sedita” of “Scott Sedita Acting Studios”, in Los Angeles, CA.
Ali also put on his producing hat and produced and starred in his first pilot presentation titled “Rebel Yell/The California’s” under the newly formed company “ESX Productions”. A story that can be best described as “The Transporter” meets “Mad Max” with a touch of “Fast and the Furious”!
His first role back from his racing “hiatus”, Ali landed a supporting role in the feature film “He’s Just Not That Into You”, based on the best selling book. Ali plays the character of “Skip” alongside a star studded cast including Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connolly, Ben Affleck, Justin Long, Kevin Connolly & more! This movie is directed by Emmy nominated director Ken Kwapis.
Ali was then cast as the judgmental “Tribunal Head” in the hilarious political series “Fun With War Crimes” directed by Tim Bartell. Ali was also cast in a new web pilot/series titled “Marisa Rules/Girls Gone College” directed by “Ellen Sandler” (Writer/Producer of Everybody Loves Raymond). Ali also shot a national Mercedes-Benz commercial for the new 2008 “C-Class” titled “Projections” directed by Adam Berg and a “Blue Shield of California” insurance commercial.
In early 2009, Ali was cast as “Jonathan” in the funny web series “Peas In A Pod”.
In June 2009, Ali played the character of “Cyrus” along side Academy Award winner Holly Hunter on the hit “TNT” television show, “Saving Grace”.
In November 2009, Ali filmed and worked alongside “The Most Interesting Man The World” in one of the extremely popular “Dos Equis” national beer commercials.
2010 brought Ali back his producing hat and created his first full length feature titled “Born To Race”. A teen action film best described as “Fast and Furious meets Friday Night Lights”! Ali tapped into his rich auto racing history and brought dozens of sponsors to support him in this film including, Subaru of America, NHRA, Pep Boys, Injen and more! Ali also had a supporting role in this film and played a character very close to home.. Himself! Born to Race was released in foreign markets in 2011 and in the spring of 2012 in North America.
“Born to Race” surprised audiences and exceeded sales around the world thus, the second producing endeavor in Ali’s auto based films titled “Born to Race FAST TRACK” was scripted and started filming in the fall of 2012 for a Summer 2014 release. Ali has a larger part in this film and acted alongside a great group of young talents including Diogo Morgado and Beau Mirchoff.
Expanding his producing endeavors, Ali’s “ESX Productions” created commercials for his special edition “Ali Afshar Signature Series Subaru and Aston Martin” vehicles, Subaru and Aston Martin promotional events, BFGoodrich Tires, Glendale Mitsubishi and a music video for “American Idol” finalist “Katelyn Epperly”.
In June 2012, Ali booked roles in the highly anticipated “USA” network TV show “Political Animals” starring “Sigourney Weaver” and in the Oscar award winning “Ben Affleck” directed and starred film titled “Argo”. Unfortunately a scheduling conflict didn’t allow Ali to travel to the Middle East for filming and he had to pass on the great opportunity.
Also in 2012, Ali created an auto based reality show titled “My First Love” as an alternative to all the current auto based reality shows on air. This “Auto Show with Heart” reunites deserving people, who had to get rid of the cars they loved due to a hardship, in a surprising way. A car show with heart.
2013 Ali got back in the saddle of a new Subaru Race Car, a 2013 Subaru BRZ and is attempting to set the world record with a 1600 horsepower, twin turbo, alcohol drinking, nitrous oxide breathing Subaru! The building, testing and ultimate setting of the record will be filmed for a performance based commercial and the team will then be on tour across the nation with his Subaru race team.
In summer of 2014, Ali won the IDRC Winter Nationals in Fontana, CA in his Worlds Fastest Street Subaru. Also, in the summer of 2014, the next generation of the limited “Ali Afshar Signature Series ESX STI” 2015 model year Subaru vehicles will be manufactured and become available thru participating Subaru dealerships across North America. These special 10th Anniversary editions are called the “Red Dragon” series.
In 2014, Ali partnered with Forrest Lucas of the Lucas Oil empire, including the Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl Stadium “Lucas Oil Stadium”, Lucas Cattle and MAV TV, to create a slate of 4 social issue drama feature films. The first one "The Wrong Side of Right” filmed in late summer 2014. And "The Wizard”, a story best described "The Karate Kid meets Remember the Titans with a touch of Rocky. A heartfelt coming of age story of perseverance in the face of adversity filmed Summer 2015. Starring Oscar winner Jon Voight.
The third film “Running Wild” starring Sharon Stone and fourth “Pray for Rain” starring Jane Seymour also filmed in 2015.
In 2016 Ali produced “Dirt”, a high action car racing film with heart! And in 2016 he also produced “Ride”, a true story of an underdog and abused young man who became a BMX bicycle world champion!
Ali currently resides in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles and is splitting his time between Acting, Producing and Racing!