Kiran’s attitude and professionalism in his craft are truly inspirational to everyone around him. His unwavering dedication and commitment to giving 110% in every role makes him one of the best in the business, constantly in high demand. Kiran has never allowed his height or any obstacle to hinder his pursuit of his dreams. His relentless work ethic and passion for his craft have not only driven him to remarkable achievements but have also left a significant mark on the film industry.

Though often unseen, Kiran has been a pivotal part of producing some of the greatest moments on screen, such as his contributions to ‘The Lord of the Rings’. His ability to transform into various characters and bring them to life with such authenticity and precision is a testament to his exceptional talent. The world has witnessed his extraordinary work without always realising it’s him, showcasing the immense impact he has had behind the scenes. Kiran’s journey and achievements continue to inspire and remind us that with determination and hard work, any dream is attainable.

Kiran was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 28, 1956, to Jethalal and Mukta Shah. He has an older brother named Hasmukh and a middle brother, Nilam, who passed away before Kiran was born. Although the family wasn’t well off, they led a happy and loving life.

At six months old, Kiran’s mother noticed that he couldn’t keep food down and was growing slowly. Despite many visits to doctors, there was no solution. His parents kept the family happy and encouraged Kiran to be like other children. His childhood was joyful, and he didn’t feel different from other kids. His parents hid their concerns about his height from him and his brother continued to encourage Kiran to live a normal life. Hasmukh taught him to play cricket, football, and other games, took him to cinemas, and introduced him to rock and roll and The Beatles. Though Kiran was scared of swimming, Hasmukh tried to teach him but eventually gave up after several attempts. The fear of not knowing how to swim did not stop him from doing stunts involving water as seen in Titanic, Lord of the Rings and Madaline to name a few.

Kiran discovered his talent for imitating his uncles, making people laugh, and sparking his dream of becoming an actor.

His father’s health declined, so the family moved from Kenya to India. As his health was still not improving it was suggested that moving to a cooler climate may help, so the family moved to London where his father’s health improved. In London, while Kiran attended school, he had growth check-ups at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He was put on growth hormone injections which worked initially but then stopped working. 

In 1973, Kiran was eager to break into the film industry. He occasionally skipped school to look for an agent but was deemed too young. After many months of searching, Kiran bought a magazine called ‘Time Out’ and found an advertisement for the Red Buddha Theatre Company, which was looking for various types of performers. He auditioned and, after a recall, landed the job.

During the summer holidays, he secured a part in the Electric Theatre’s play ‘Reflection’, directed by Peter Snow. However, the project was cancelled due to financial issues. Despite these setbacks, Kiran continued pursuing acting opportunities.

In 1976, Kiran saw an advertisement for a sci-fi film and wrote to casting director Irene Lamb. He was invited to a meeting and subsequently to an audition at Elstree Studios, where he met director George Lucas. Kiran was asked to try on the R2-D2 costume, but although it fit, the role ultimately went to Kenny Baker. Irene Lamb managed to secure an agent for Kiran.

Kiran worked as a stand-in for a girl in the film ‘Candleshoe’ and was noticed by the late stunt arranger Bob Anderson, which marked the beginning of his stunt career. He has since worked as a stuntman in 43 films, including ‘Superman’, ‘The Great Muppet Caper’, ‘The Dark Crystal’, ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’, ‘Aliens’, ‘Titanic’, and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies, and more.

Kiran did scale and stunt work on ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies, acting as a scale double for the Hobbit characters. Initially brought on to double for Frodo, Peter Jackson soon wanted him to cover all five Hobbits in whoever was leading scenes. Kiran studied all five actors from their past films, focusing on their mannerisms and walks, and even learned their dialogue to help get into character. He was used whenever Hobbits were seen in mid-wide to wide shots with human or elf characters, making them appear his height. He wore masks and Hobbit feet to look like them, whether walking, running, sitting, or riding horses.

Kiran was called by stunt coordinator Simon Crane to work on the film ‘Titanic’. It was filmed in Rosarito, a town on the Mexican side of Baja California, at a studio that featured the largest deep-water tank in the world. A three-quarter size model of the Titanic was constructed there. Kiran worked night shifts, five days a week, for nine months. He portrayed numerous child stunt characters, either within different family groups or on his own. Kiran’s face was concealed, but brief side glimpses of him can be seen in the film. Kiran performed high falls into the water, slid down the decks as the ship tilted at various angles, and ran or floated through the water with families or other people as the ship sank. He also did stunts for the girl in the lifeboat and the Russian child that Leonardo DiCaprio’s character picked up.

In 1998, Kiran received a call from a stuntman in America who had worked with him on ‘Titanic’. The stuntman mentioned that they were filming a movie called ‘Madeline’ in Paris and needed someone to jump from a bridge into the River Seine (which was twenty-seven feet). Kiran accepted the challenge. Despite not being able to swim, Kiran felt confident he wouldn’t sink because of his wetsuit.

Producer John Dark noticed Kiran at Pinewood Studios and cast him in ‘The People That Time Forgot’. His acting career began, leading to roles in over 50 films, such as ‘Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi’, ‘Legend’, ‘Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four’, ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, and ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’, all the Disney era ‘Star Wars’ films and recently ‘There’s Something in the Barn’. He continues to work as an actor and creature performer, with an upcoming film called ‘States of Mind’.

Kiran and Milton Reid (a former heavyweight wrestler) visited Pinewood Studios to introduce themselves at the production office. The secretary, upon seeing them, directed them to the soundstage where filming was taking place. As they walked onto the soundstage, the crew and cast found the sight of the broad, tall Milton and the little Kiran side by side quite amusing. Director Richard Donner noticed them and invited them onto the set to meet the cast. They were introduced to Marlon Brando and Susannah York. Marlon Brando picked up Kiran and began dancing with him in his arms around the set. After a while, he put Kiran down. At that moment, Christopher Reeve arrived on set. Richard Donner pointed at Kiran and jokingly said, “We have just found your stunt double,” which caused laughter among the cast and crew. About two months later, Kiran received a call to work on ‘Superman’. He was hired as a stunt perspective flying double for Superman, to create the illusion of Superman flying at different distances.

Kiran and his nephew Kit have directed a short film called ‘Still Living’, a physiological thriller. This has been played at Cannes and Edinburgh film festivals to list a few and also received the runner up prize at the HD Fest Film Festival in LA and it was also part of the shortlist for ‘Without Borders’. Because of its success it is in a small minority of short films to be distributed commercially.

Kiran also writes poetry, his work has been published in Britain and America. His poems are based on his thoughts and feelings about the places he has been and the experiences he has had.

Kiran has had the pleasure of working with some of the best directors of all time; these include Peter Jackson, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ken Russell, Andrew Adamson, Michael Winner and many more. Kiran is also known to enjoy working with up and coming talented directors.

Kiran holds two Guinness World Records: the shortest stuntman in the world currently working in film and the world’s shortest wing-walker. Kiran was strapped to a 1940s Boeing Stearman biplane for ten minutes, braving speeds of 120mph at 1000ft in the air.