*Considering the current political climate, there could not be a better time for “The Big Sick” to be released.
Its cast members talked about how healing can come about–when everyone is treated the same–at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York.
Kumail Nanjiani, born in Pakistan—and a Muslim—moved to America to pursue comedy. He met grad student Emily V. Gordan at a club after one of his stand-up sets and they clicked.
Much to his parents’ dismay, Kumail and Emily eventually married. Kumail’s traditional Muslim parents tried more than once to arrange a marriage between their son and a Muslim woman. Emily’s parents were none too happy either about her relationship with Kumail.
Zoe Kazan, who plays Emily, didn’t mince words about the casting process in Hollywood when praising the movie. “There aren’t enough roles for women of color in general,” she said and steps need to be made to “finance films that have more roles that provide a wider representation.”
Story content is another issue she addressed: “We have to give actresses [and] actors a chance. But it’s really about the kind of storytelling that is being done. What kinds of stories can you tell if you extend past your tiny circle of comfort?”
Ray Romano, who portrays Emily’s father, sees “The Big Sick” also as a uniting tool in its depiction of Muslims and Pakistanis. “What I love about the film,” Romano admitted, is “It shows that we’re all the same.
Based on the real-life courtship of Kumail and Emily, Kumail disclosed there was a crucial moment in the movie that took him aback. “There’s a scene where I have a breakdown on stage, and that wasn’t scripted,” he said. “It was always planned that I would just kind of try and be in that place I was and just talk. So that was super tough because you’re forced to think about and say stuff that your whole body is wired to not think about or say. That was the toughest part.”
Directed by Michael Showalter, the film also stars Holly Hunter, Anupam Kher, Adeel Akhtar, and Zenobia Shroff. It opens in New York and L.A. June 23 and nationwide July 14.
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