American-Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani has made waves in Hollywood, but despite his efforts to normalize brown people playing important roles, some people have not been able to give up stereotypes.
Kumail Nanjiani in an interview with Variety detailed his difficulties succeeding in Tinseltown when most of the directors he auditioned for still wanted him to hang on to the stereotypes of its Pakistani origin.
Kumail who born and raised in Karachi, admitted that he already had a little accent but was repeatedly asked 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 also revealed how he let one big opportunity slip away, because he refused to exaggerate his accent.
He said “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 naming the film, he previously revealed that he auditioned for Marvel’s Deadpool which stars Karan Soni as a South Asian taxi driver.
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