Kumail Nanjiani made waves in Hollywood despite some people who were unable to let go off the stereotypes.
The 42-year-old Silicon Valley actor during an interview with Variety, detailed his struggles of making it big in Tinseltown while most of the directors he auditioned for, still wanted him to cling on to stereotypes of his Pakistani origin.
Born and raised in Karachi, Kumail admitted that he already had a bit of an accent but was asked on multiple occasions to make it thicker.
“I have a Pakistani accent, but they would be like, ‘Could you make it funnier? Lean in a little bit.’ And at some point, I decided I just wasn’t going to do that. There are certain parts that require a thicker Pakistani or Indian accent, and that’s totally fine, but I just didn’t want the comedy to just be coming from someone exaggerating their accent,” he said.
He further revealed how he let one big opportunity slip away, because he refused to exaggerate his accent.
“So there was a really, really big movie, actually, that I auditioned for, and I was a taxi driver, and the director was like, ‘Hey, could you play up the accent a little bit?’ And I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t.’ And then the guy felt really bad. And I was like, ‘No, it’s fine. I’m just not going to do it. If that’s what you want, I’m not your guy.”
While the actor refrained from directly giving away the title of the film, he had previously revealed that he auditioned for Marvel’s Deadpool which stars Karan Soni, as a South Asian cabbie.