He began acting while at school in Bokaro. He then attended Hindu College, Delhi University, from where he got a BCom degree.
While at university Zahid became involved with a theatre group run by Arvind Gaur. He continued acting with the group after leaving university and also opened a media school in Delhi, India in 2003.
He has said that he had neither the desire nor the need to work in Mumbai. He will now act in the lead role for Chandu, a film by Mahesh Bhatt about Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader and Communist Party of India member Chandrashekhar Prasad, who was shot dead on 31 March 1997 during a political rally. He met Bhatt at a conference in Dubai in 2007 and it was then that Bhatt asked him to take part in the film. The proposed film has attracted some criticism from present students at the university.
He played the role of Muntadhar Al Zaidi in Bhatt’s production, The Last Salute, which is based on the shoe hurling incident involving George W. Bush. He received plaudits for his portrayal and Bhatt has proposed to make a film of it with Zahid reprising the role.
It has been anounced that Zahid will act in Bhatt's Bollywood film Jannat 2, which will be directed by Kunal Deshmukh and is set for release in April 2012. Although Chandu was intended to be his Bollywood debut that film will not be released until after Jannat 2.
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