Veteran actor Anupam Kher, who is looking forward to the release of his 500th film - Hollywood entertainer The Big Sick was moved by Kumail Nanjiani’s father’s desire to have him take the role.
Portraying the role of Nanjiani’s traditional father in the reel life, the film is being helmed by Michael Showalter. The Big Sick is based on the real-life courtship between Silicon starrer Kumail and his spouse Emily V Gordon.
“I’ve been a fan of Anupam my whole life,” Nanjiani says. “I had asked my real-life dad who he wanted to play him. He said ‘Anupam Kher’. I said ‘Perfect. My first choice too’. From then on, I only ever saw Anupam in the role and we pretty much wrote it for him. But he found such specificity in the role and brought so many ideas about how our particular relationship worked.”
“The fact that Kumail called me straightaway about the role and said it was his father’s wish that I do this, that connected with me on a very emotional level. I also like human stories and the fact that it was based on Kumail and Emily’s life was very amusing. It was important for me, this film, because it was going to be my 500th film. I wanted it to be a great experience and it worked out very well,” Kher elaborates.
With his vast amount of cinematic experience, Kher also brought his own touches to the character. “Azmat (Kumail’s father) has an undercurrent of comedy even though he’s very real,” he observes. “I did some of my own work on Azmat’s backstory -- where he was born, was his first job, how did he raise his two sons, his desire to be important in somebody’s life,” he explains. “There’s a very beautiful line when he talks about the American dream.
Azmat rejects that the American dream is doing whatever you want and not thinking about other people. To him, it’s the opposite. Being a good son, husband and father is the dream.”