Gurdeep Roy (born Mohinder Purba; 26 January 1957), known professionally as Deep Roy, is a Kenyan-born Indian-American actor, stuntman and puppeteer of Indian descent. At 132 centimetres (4 ft 4 in) tall, he has often been cast as diminutive characters, such as Teeny Weeny in The NeverEnding Story and the Oompa-Loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Keenser in Star Trek and subsequent films (“Kelvin Timeline”), and in television series such as The X-Files, Doctor Who and Eastbound & Down.
Roy was born in Nairobi, British Kenya, to Indian parents. He studied at The Slim Wood School of Comedy and got his start in the entertainment arena in England since 1970, as a stand-up comic in local cabaret clubs. In April 1970, Deep opened on the London stage in Ray Cooney’s Miracle Worker at the Palace Theatre, Westcliff-on-Sea. He made his professional screen acting debut in a 1976 episode of The New Avengers, titled “Target!” as a character named Klokoe. He made his film debut later that same year, in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, as the Italian Assassin. Another early role was as Mr. Sin, the “pig-brained Peking Homunculus”, a villain with a distinct appetite for homicide, in the Doctor Who serial The Talons of Weng-Chiang. In 1979, Roy also played a genetically engineered life form “Decima” in the first season Blake’s 7 episode “The Web”, the diminutive chess genius, “The Klute”, in the second season Blake’s 7 episode “Gambit” and he voiced the character “Moloch”, in the third season Blake’s 7 episode “Moloch”.
He has played apes in two movies: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes and again in the Tim Burton remake of Planet of the Apes (2001) in two roles, one as a young gorilla boy and as Thade’s niece. He has worked for Burton in three other films, Big Fish (2003), (2005),] and Corpse Bride (also 2005), where he supplied General Bonesapart’s voice. He played all the Oompa-Loompas (165 of them) in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Deep had extensive training for the role in dance, yoga, and some minor instrument playing.
He appeared in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) as an Egyptian border guard and in the film Star Trek (also 2009) as Keenser, Scotty’s assistant on the ice planet Delta Vega; he reprised the Keenser role in the sequels Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond. In one of his more prominent speaking roles, Roy played Aaron, a violent Mumbai-born Mexican criminal, in second season of the HBO comedy, Eastbound & Down. Deep starred as Sandeep Majumdar in the 2012 short film The Ballad of Sandeep.