Name to know: Ritesh Rajan


Name to know: Ritesh Rajan

He plays a mind-altering nerd in a new sci-fi drama. Just excuse his math

By Arshie Chevalwala  June 11th, 2015

He’s disappointing Indian parents everywhere
Emmy-nominated screenwriter Jeff Schechter’s new show, Stitchers, revolves around Kirsten (Emma Ishta) who is recruited by a secret government agency to access (or be ‘stitched’ into) the memories  of dead victims to solve crimes.  Ritesh Rajan plays Linus, her bioelectrical engineer aide who keeps time as they have a limited window to stitch. “The first time we filmed, I had to count down from 10 and I messed up the numbers; my parents would be so disappointed. The show’s writers don’t do scenes where I need to count anymore.”

He’s effortlessly uncool
The 26-year-old actor easily sunk into nerdy Linus’ skin for the drama, which premieres this month. “I’m a little bit of a geek too, I like all that tech stuff. He thinks he’s smooth, a ladies’ man — he really isn’t. I like to believe I’m not as awkward, but I guess we both think we’re cooler than we really are.”

He might go to med school someday 
Four years ago, the NYC native (who comes from a family of doctors — 12 just on his dad’s side) moved to Los Angeles to pursue his passion after graduating as a theatre major from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He waited tables for the first six months to pay the bills and did a few blink-and-you-miss roles on TV and in the film The Last Airbender (2010). “My parents are so supportive, but sometimes they joke (“Waat is dis acting nansense,”  he mimics) and say it’s not too late to get an MD. Call me in five years, let’s see how this acting thing works out.”

Photograph: Sierra Prescott