His first film ''Man Push Cart'' wowed crowds at Sundance

By EW Staff
Updated August 18, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

WHAT HE’S DONE: His eclectic experience includes: construction worker, owner of a Pakistani restaurant, doughnut street vendor — and now actor. His first gig, in Man Push Cart, earned praise at Sundance for its realism.

HOW HE’S DOING IT: Without any formal training. ”Doing this movie was my first class,” says the 33-year-old Pakistani native. ”So whatever the teacher said is what I did.”

WHEN HE’LL BREAK BIG: On Sept. 8, Cart, about an ex-Pakistani pop star who sells breakfast on the sidewalks of Manhattan, opens in New York City.

WHY YOU SHOULD ROOT FOR HIM: His life, which partially inspired the documentary-style film, hasn’t been all Sundance parties and rave reviews. ”It was so extreme pulling that cart down the streets,” he says. ”It’s over a thousand pounds.”