Actor Kumail Nanjiani on accepting a non-comedic role

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Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere of Netflix's “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” held at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles, on November 14, 2022. Photo by Xavier Collin/REUTERS.

After writing and starring in the film “The Big Sick” in 2017, actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani says writer-director and producer Robert Siegel (“Pam and Tommy,” “Big Fan,” “The Wrestler”) approached him with an idea to make a drama film about the American stripper troupe Chippandales. At the time, Nanjiani turned it down.

In 2021, Siegel came back and proposed it as a mini series. This time, the Pakistani-American actor said yes, and things started “coming together very quickly,” he notes.  

In the first of a two-part conversation, Nanjiani talks about his foray into non-comedic acting, co-producing “Welcome to Chippendales” with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, getting into character, and the many benefits an actor is gifted for working on a limited series. 

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Kim Masters


Joshua Farnham