Meet the actor who is changing the face of Disney for good

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Karan Brar may look like an ordinary teenager, but the the 17-year-old California transplant is slowly, but surely, changing the face of the Disney Channel for good. That's because Brar now holds the title of the first Indian American actor to ever become a series regular on the station. It's a huge feat in terms of diversity for Disney and Brar knows that the pressure is on. But we think that if anyone can handle it, without a doubt it's him.

Brar's love of acting all started with a little nudge from his father, a man whose own pursuits led him to fall for theater while in college. What started out as an after school hobby soon turned into a full-time job; "I took my first acting class and things really just escalated from there." Brar has since racked up an impressive television and film resume, including starring roles in three different installations of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" with each performance earning him three different Young Artist Award titles, along with fan-favorite performances in Disney original series "Jessie" and "Bunk'd." After meeting Brar in person at our New York City offices, one thing was made very clear: he shows no signs of slowing down.

Whether it's interacting with his almost 6 million social media followers, performing his groundbreaking role of Ravi Ross in "Bunk'd", or collaborating with huge stars like Lilly Singh, Brar has established himself as one of the biggest influencers of his generation.

We had the exclusive chance to sit down with the rising star and ask him about diversity in Disney, how he's juggled being a normal teenager with his acting career, and more.

And if you want even more Karan Brar news, head over to AOL.com at 12 p.m. ET to see more exclusive features, including his YouTube feature with Lilly Singh.

nothing sexier than a forced laugh.

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When did you first become interested in acting?
It's a long and weird story. So my parents are immigrants and they gave up everything they had to raise me here. My dad ended up in LA to be a taxi driver for a bit and then moved to Seattle and he and my mom raised me and my sister there. Traditionally, we were expected to be doctors or engineers. And while I was growing up, my parents kept asking me to get into sports. All of my friends were jocks so I wanted to do baseball or basketball or whatever it was. But I was not good at any of those sports. So my dad approached me and said, "I did theater in college, maybe you should try it." I took my first acting class and things just really escalated from there. Things slowly started piling on. I never thought about it as, "I want to be in movies. I want to be huge!" It just kept growing until the point where I realized that slowly it was turning into a career. Then one day I was like, "Okay, so we're moving out to LA!" It's been a weird rollercoaster because my parents set up in Seattle and I booked a Disney show so we all had to up and move.

How have you balanced being a normal teenager with being an actor?
It's very interesting because you grow up really fast in this industry. And you're working in an adult environment -- not that people are rough on you -- but you need to mature very fast. But you have to find that downtime on the side and remember that you're a kid too. What helps is that my parents integrated that into my lifestyle. My mom gets mad when I don't go out enough. I think it's also important to have a stable group of friends who also work in the industry since we're all going through the same situation. We grab coffee or go to an improv show just so we have that normal downtime and can have a breather from the industry.

New episode of BUNK'D tonight at 8pm (ET/PT)!!! Don't miss it ๐Ÿ˜

A post shared by Karan Brar (@thekaranbrar) on

Are your friends then mostly your castmates?
Some of my friends now I actually used to watch their shows when I was younger. For example Cameron [Boyce] my co-star, and he's practically my brother at this point. A lot of those friends you meet because of the industry since you interact with them often. It's a big world but everyone knows each other so well.

You're the first Indian actor that's a series regular on Disney. What has that been like for you?
It's been big. For the Indian community I didn't realize it just how huge it was. So many times I'll meet Indian families and they say that they think it's really cool that I'm representing them. What's great is that Disney actually integrates our culture into the channel. They'll call my dad into the writer's room sometimes and ask him to explain how he grew up. And I think that's fun because I slowly get to educate people on my culture. There's so many subcultures within India that often times it gets very muddled. So when you can distinctly separate them and help people understand the differences between each, it's pretty incredible. I take pride in knowing that I'm representing my community. Especially since my parents had the grind of the immigrant it's really rewarding to help represent them as well.

Candid. (That's actually false. This shot was completely planned.) @wes_klain

A post shared by Karan Brar (@thekaranbrar) on

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, click here. And come back at 12 pm EST for more exclusives on Karan Brar, including his experience on-set with Lilly Singh.

By BANU IBRAHIM

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Meet the actor who is changing the face of Disney for good
What are you looking at ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜‚
How I look every day because life is too short to not have fun with yourself ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿป
Move the way you want to move ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ
This is my face when someone mentions food!๐Ÿค“ Releasing a new video tonight! Can't wait!โค๏ธ
Shooting a new vid for you guys!! Uploading Wednesday!!!๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ๐ŸŽฌ #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
It's the most wonderful time of the yearโค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ
"Mom she won't let me have a sip of her Capri Sun" -6 year old nerf gun loving Brent to 6 year old polly pocket obsessed Mere NEW VIDEO IS UP W/ @brentrivera ๐Ÿ‘ซ Link to watch is in my bio! โค๏ธ
Adventuring with friends at the beach ๐ŸŒŠ Pretty sure this house was haunted... not to mention the door was open. Something you guys don't know about me is I am the most savage ghost hunter around nothing scares me and I mean nothing ๐Ÿ‘€ Do you believe in ghosts? ๐Ÿ‘ป
Bonjour, je m'appelle Meredith. Comment t'appelle tu? Out of my 3 years of studying French this is one of the only things I remember ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘‹
AHH!!! We hit 3MILLION subbies today!! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜ญ๐ŸŽ‚ I love my #macbabies so so much!!! You all mean the WORLD to me!!! Our family is growing so much! Thank you for allowing me to just be my awkward self. I love you and I can never thank you enough for all the opportunities you've given me!! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚โœจ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
i like pink doors โ™ก ps..new video going up soon! ahh who's excited?!? link in my bio! also, what's your fav color?! hehe ๐Ÿ’žโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰
until next time thailand โ™ก ps...guess who just uploaded a vlog!! you get a sneak peek of my final room decor!! ahh! also, how did you find my youtube channel? i'm so curious! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒŽโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ
i just wanna travel the world โœˆ๏ธ where should I go next ?๐Ÿ˜‰
so ready for halloween ๐Ÿ‘ป SOOOO, I just uploaded a brand new HALLOWEEN VIDEO!! Click the link in my bio to watch!๐ŸŽƒ
eye see you ๐Ÿ‘€ Ps: thank you all for your amazing and continued support. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you so much. xoxo
Have you seen my new video yet!? It's all about music festivals so make sure to check it out on my YouTube channel! + there's some friends in itโ˜บ๏ธ
My new video is dropping today!!! Can you guess what it'll be..?๐Ÿ˜—
u like em crazy babe don't u
the #londonhasfallen premiere last night ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
when the waiter passes your table with food
Love him ๐Ÿ’•
Fun fact : purple and orange teacups are the fastest! :)
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Once you see it, you can't unsee it
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PROUDEST PUPPY MOMS EVER ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถโ˜บ๏ธ @karminmusic @garykarmin @djminimatt
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โœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธboomโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ (photo:@markdohner)
WE OUT HERE AT THE #KCA's and the inner child in me is screaming.
trying my hardest to be "fierce"....
Welcome to slime history @rebelwilson !! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ #KCA2016
2 0 1 6 - #HAPPYNEWYEAR on the water 2-5~6
We love taking walks, no phones, just talking about life. If you can, make time every week to take a 30-minute walk with a friend or a loved one. It's a cool way to get to know each other on a deeper level!
Leap year gives us all 24 extra hours to #DayItForward! Weโ€™ve teamed up w/ @Chevrolet to send love to #UsTheFamily - check out our Twitter feed tomorrow!!
Have you heard?! We're joining our friends @ptxofficial on the first leg of their World Tour this Spring! Click the link in our bio for tix, or visit https://www.ustheduo.com/tour :) PUMPED to meet some new and current #UsTheFamily members!
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Guess who's birthday is in 5 days?? (No it's not Dylan O'Brien) ๐Ÿ˜Ž
I came here to live life like nobody is watching โฅ โ™ก
Happy Valentine's Day lovesโค๏ธ
Did you catch the latest blog post on the blog (link in profile)?? Who else loves afternoon tea?? // ๐Ÿ“ท: @torrancecoombs #TheAListIreland
Dorky smiles + a photobomb by some serious woman with a serious collar ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ #HereCoombsTheBride
Soft curls and red lips ๐Ÿ’‹ // ๐Ÿ“ท: @torrancecoombs
Every girl ought to have a pair of nude suede pumps! Nothing like New shoes Monday with @mgemi. Get more details on @liketoknow.it www.liketk.it/2fcOb #liketkit #lovemgemi
On the streets of Paris in red and how I style my street style looks for fashion week revealed on #thechrisellefactor today! Direct link in bio ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป http://thechrisellefactor.com/2016/03/power-color/ ๐Ÿ“ท:@karenrosalie_
Rendezvous in Paris in Pink on #TheChriselleFactor today. Direct link in bio ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป http://thechrisellefactor.com/2016/03/rendezvous-in-pink/
Your not ready for this #chromat #nyfw #teamthis
We run THIS show #HBDWang #rkobh #teamthis
When it's "chilly" out ๐Ÿ˜œ #ootd
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ATL tonight ๐Ÿ˜
had the King of LA @yg come through last night ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ
If you guys saw how I looked before you would think it was magic ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ญ My beautiful makeup for #kca by @beautybydianalomelin ๐Ÿ’ซ
Winding down with @SkinnyMintCom ๐Ÿ˜Œ #TheOriginalTeatox #ad
Eating all that sushi finally turned me into a mermaid! ๐Ÿ˜ญ for @projectmermaids #saveourbeach Photography by @angelinaventurellaphoto Hair and Makeup by @ljbeauty Bra by @edwordgarcia Sponsored by @sexyhair Project Manager @crissycrissybobissy
If you know me well or have read interviews Iโ€™ve done then you know that @marthastewart has always been my biggest inspiration when it comes to food. One of my goals is to be a combination of my two idols- Martha and Andy Warhol. As a child I would dream about spending the time and care like her to prepare a table, creating something very special for people to join around and share a meal. Watching her cook inspired me to teach myself how to hand weigh ingredients, to always have my mise en place organized, how to pronounce words like vichyssoise, and her wide usage of produce variety is honestly a large part of where my curiosity for our food sparked from. With this said, Iโ€™m sure you can imagine my surprise when I was told that I was one of the 25 creatives @marthastewart is inspired by in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Thank you for helping me think and dream so big Martha, I am honored to share this and to make you all of the colors. #25yearsofmartha #foodgradients
I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. Iโ€™m Brittany and I recognize that I seem to do a decent job of not sharing much about my actual self here or in interviews. I prefer to keep my art about the food and not myself. This community and my photography have become the biggest part of my life, I love it more than I have words to explain but there's more that makes me who I am. So for a quick moment hereโ€™s a bit- Iโ€™m 24, a taurus, live in Seattle but grew up in San Diego, my favorite food is a cheeseburger (super thin patty, toasted bun), my favorite bands are @stygoc and @metric, my first tattoo was the one on chest- itโ€™s still my favorite and says โ€˜love your lifeโ€™, something many people sadly forget. I was raised by my grandparents, I love to make small collections of items like rocks and stickers, I grew up playing a lot of sports competitively, I love Star Wars and have Boba Fett tattooed on my arm but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie. Many times I have been told that being an artist โ€œcanโ€™t be a real jobโ€ and that I was wasting my time trying to do so. I smile everyday not because I proved them wrong but because I achieved a goal. Dream big, everyone.
Thought I might start this week off with a past candy photo. Here's to hoping you all have the best days ahead! #foodgradients
Kรถln!!!! Didn't pronounce your name right on stage but... You were AMAZING. Only a couple shows left in EU-- next up, London... (๐Ÿ“ท: @annamaria_langer )
Practicing our Spanish with @tvtelehit Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
Sam wants to play Jack & Rose in Titanic but Casey's all "nah i'm good, have fun tho mang"
We drove 28 hours to get to Canada. The jeep is still running๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜
The Dallas episode for @heyusax is the funniest yet! Go watch it now on @go90 now!๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„
Keep lookin up.
๐Ÿ’…๐Ÿป #THELASTSTEW
That's a wrap #E! #Oscarafterpartyshow ๐ŸŽ‰
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