Kumail Nanjiani Talks About His New Hulu Series, ‘Eternals 2’ & More [Bingeworthy Podcast]

Dec 17, 2022

In today’s episode of Bingeworthy, our TV and streaming podcast, host Mike DeAngelo steps inside “Welcome to Chippendales,” Hulu’s new eight-part drama miniseries from producer Robert Siegel (“Pam and Tommy”), which follows Somen “Steve” Banerjee, a fledgling Indian-American entrepreneur who decides to open an all-male strip club in the 1980s. The show also stars Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Juliette Lewis, Andrew Rannells, Dan Stevens, and more.
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Joining our host to discuss the show is producer and star of the series, Kumail Nanjiani, who you may know for his more comedic roles in “Silicon Valley,” “The Big Sick,” Marvel’s “Eternals,” “Stuber,” and more. Being a primarily comedic actor is why Nanjiani turned the story of “Welcome to Chippendales” down when initially approached for the role of Somen “Steve” Banerjee.
“It actually came to me the year that ‘The Big Sick’ came out,” Najiani said. “Rob Siegel, the creator of this show, who’s a wonderful writer and I’ve been a big fan of his – he came up to me and said, ‘I have a movie script about the guy who started Chippendales. He was an immigrant – most people don’t know this.’ And he said, ‘I want you to play this guy.’ And he sent me the script. I really loved the script – back then it was a movie. But I didn’t feel ready to be able to do it. Like, I’d just done ‘The Big Sick’ and it was the first time I’d done anything that wasn’t just purely comedy. There was an emotional component to ‘The Big Sick.’ But when I read this, it was so dark and such a complex character. I think I was a little intimidated to do it back then, and so I didn’t do it.”
Years passed, Nanjiani’s star rose with each role, and Siegel found success on Hulu with “Pam & Tommy” and was looking to jump back into the miniseries game by re-tooling “Welcome to Chippendales” into an eight-episode arc.
“Rob contacted me again and said, ‘I just did a mini-series at Hulu, “Pam & Tommy.” I loved doing it and I now want to do Chippendales as a miniseries,’” Nanjiani added. “He wrote the pilot very quickly and sent it to me, and I really loved it. I was still a little bit like, ‘Am I ready to do something like this?’ So I had a bunch of conversations with him, and the last conversation, he was like, I’m just going to lay out the entire series, and he talked for an hour about what happens in episode two, what happens in episode three, what happens in episode four. And by the end, I was like, ‘I have no choice. I have to do this.’”
READ MORE: The Best TV Of 2022… So Far, ‘The Bear’ & More
Of course, with Kumail Nanjiani being a Marvel superhero, his return to the universe came up in conversation. Sadly, Nanjiani wasn’t sure if or when he would return. He even went as far as dispelling the previously reported comments from Patton Oswalt that said “Eternals 2” was already green-lit with director Chloe Zhao returning.
“I have no idea. I don’t think Patton was right. I think that there was a hoax website – one of those where it’s like one letter off from the real one. They tweeted it, and it spread around, and I think that’s what Patton saw,” Nanjiani shared. “I honestly don’t know anything. I would love for Kingo to come back. I love playing that character. Now, that’s a very different character from Steve [Banerjee] (from ‘Welcome to Chippendales’); he’s very light. That one’s very fun to play; you’re just in a good mood. You do finger guns, you’re like a movie star – what’s not to love? You’re just in a good mood the entire time. I shot that movie for five months, and I think I smiled straight for five months, so I would love to come back, and I love what the MCU is doing now. I just saw ‘Black Panther 2’ and I was really, really blown away. So, I’d love to come back, but I genuinely have no idea if or when.”
The first three episodes of “Welcome to Chippendales” are now streaming on Hulu, with new episodes premiering each Tuesday. You can listen to the full interview with Kumail Nanjiani below:

Bingeworthy is part of The Playlist Podcast Network, which includes The Playlist Podcast, Yellowstoners, The Rogue Ones, Deep Focus, The Fourth Wall, The Discourse & more. We can be heard on Apple Podcasts, AnchorFM, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Spotify, and most places where podcasts are found. You can stream the podcast via the embed within the article or click on the lead image at the top page. Be sure to subscribe and drop us a comment or a rating, as we greatly appreciate it. Thank you for listening.

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