“There are moments where I force myself to confront what I’m terrified of, which is how I felt with Welcome To Chippendales. Every single time I’ve shot something, I’ve found a way into the character.”
-Kumail Nanjiani, episode 307 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
Today, we’re joined by actor, writer, and comedian, Kumail Nanjiani! We discuss his new series, Welcome to Chippendales, playing real-life entrepreneur Steve Banerjee (4:39), his fascination with American culture growing up in Pakistan (11:45), moving to America as a teenager (17:23), and performing standup as a college student in Des Moines (22:21).
On the back-half, Nanjiani describes performing in Chicago in 2006 (26:17), his family-inspired solo act, Unpronounceable (31:46), and how he and Emily Gordon captured their personal events in the acclaimed film, The Big Sick (35:12). To close, we walk through his dramatic pivot in films like Eternals and Obi-Wan Kenobi (41:55), the aftermath of that transformation (45:58), and how he continues to tell rich and complex immigrant stories through Little America and now, Welcome to Chippendales (53:37).
- Stream Welcome to Chippendales on Hulu.
- Watch Little America on Apple TV+.
- See Kumail’s previous work in The Big Sick, Eternals, and Silicon Valley.
- Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.
- For more conversations, hear our talks with Judd Apatow, Jonathan Majors, Hiro Murai, Jenny Slate, Abbi Jacobson, Nick Offerman, Tessa Thompson, and Pedro Pascal.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Original illustration by Krishna Shenoi. Reference image by Brian Bowen Smith.
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