Kumail Nanjiani says he was told to ‘play up the accent’ in audition for big Hollywood film

‘If that’s what you want, I’m not your guy,’ the actor told director of ‘successful’ film

Jacob Stolworthy
Wednesday 27 May 2020 08:50
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Kumail Nanjiani says he was told to 'accent up' in audition for taxi driver role in big Hollywod film

Kumail Nanjiani has said he was told to “play up the accent” when auditioning to play a taxi driver role in a big Hollywood film.

The actor was speaking to Variety to promote his new Netflix comedy The Lovebirds when he revealed that he feels more successful now he’s “auditioning for parts that [are] not stereotypical brown guy parts”.

“Hollywood success is not permanent – I still feel as good as the last thing,” he said. “I still feel that pressure all the time.”

He continued: “I know [in] my first few years of auditioning all I saw were very very stereotypical parts, so when I started getting offered a few movies that were outside of that, that felt good.”

Nanjiani then said: “There was a really really big movie that I auditioned for where I was a taxi driver, and the director was like, ‘Hey, could you play up the accent a little bit?’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t.’

“Then the guy felt really bad, he felt really embarrassed, and I was like, ‘No, it’s fine, I’m just not gonna do it – if that’s what you want, I’m not your guy.’

Nanjiani said the the film went on to be “really successful”, quipping: “I don’t regret it.”

While Nanjiani didn’t name the film, many people on Twitter have wondered whether he was talking about Deadpool, which features a taxi driver character named Dopinder. He was played in the 2016 blockbuster by Karan Soni.

Plenty of other people suggested Nanjiani was talking about 2019 film Stuber, however the actor ended up starring in that film alongside Dave Bautista and his comments indicate he rejected the role in question.

Nanjiani will next be seen in Marvel’s delayed film The Eternals, alongside Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek and Brian Tyree Henry.

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