Kumail Nanjiani is showing off in a whole new way in the new Hulu miniseries, “Welcome to Chippendales.” Opening up to InStyle, the Marvel alum discusses playing a villain, whether or not he’ll ever make a similar movie to “The Big Sick,” and even shares the story behind his first kiss when he was 20 years old.
On taking on this role squarely outside his usual comedic repertoire: “Welcome to Chippendales is the role I’ve been most nervous to take on, because I never played anybody like [Somen] … I’ve mostly played people who were, in some ways, different versions of myself. Generally they were funny or had some element of likability to them,” Nanjiani tells InStyle.
On his Marvel workout regimen: “I really still enjoy working out. I get a lot out of it. It’s for me, mentally, been really good. It grounds me in my body, it’s good for stress, I sleep better, and it makes me better at my job, you know, because so much of acting is about sort of feeling your body and being in your body,” Nanjiani says. “For years, I felt really disconnected from my body, so working out is something that just connects me with myself.”
On how quarantine affected his marriage: “Quarantine was a very, very stressful time. It was stressful for her, too, but I think we can both admit it was much more stressful for me. I just felt so out of control and we realized that both of our reactions to her initial illness were such a big part of the patterns of our relationship … it became very obvious that this was something that was still affecting us, so really, spending that year-and-a-half with just us — we really didn’t leave the house, some people were shooting, but I didn’t — really, really brought us closer together,” he said. “When we look back, however many years from now at that year-and-a-half together, it’s always going to be a milestone. I think we appreciate each other more now. I think we communicate a lot better now.” He ends with this wise takeaway: “Relationships are always evolving, because you’re always evolving, and the other person is always evolving.”
On his recurring nightmare: “I’m about to do stand-up, and I get on stage and I don’t have any material and it’s a full crowd and I’m up there and I don’t know what to do. The set-up is always different so I never know what dream I’m walking into, you know? I’ll be hanging out with friends at a bar or something and then suddenly I’m at an open mic and they call my name and I’m like, ‘Oh shit, it’s that fucking dream again!'” “It always happens whenever I’m feeling intimidated or inadequate. Last week, I had the dream three nights in a row. I was like, I get it.”
[Photo Credit: Kanya Iwana/InStyle Magazine]