English-born Indian actor Kunal Nayyar, who has been successfully making people laugh with his role as astrophysicist Rajesh ‘Raj’ Koothrappali in the hit US TV series, The Big Bang Theory, since the last six years, says desis are no longer made to look down upon in the West, as mostly complained by other celebs. “I don’t think we are pigeonholed. It’s really becoming a good time for us. If we lose the ability to laugh at ourselves and our own culture, you wouldn’t really appreciate the humour in it,” Nayyar told us over the phone from Los Angeles.“Indians play smart people, doctors, scientists, and the awkward shy nerd guy in TV shows, but those are not stereotypes. Indians play Indians,” he added.
The 31-year-old is also excited that Hollywood talent is now coming often to India, both for work and leisure. “India as a backdrop in general will be amazing for any movie and the quality of production there is comparable to anywhere in the world. We can definitely hold our own against Hollywood and it’ll be great to see more collaborations happening,” said the actor, who was last seen in season five of the sitcom that aired recently on Zee Cafe. Ask him about season six and he says, “I don’t know much, but this year, Raj is going to find love. But whatever it is, it’s not going to shape well, as it never does for him.”
Not many know that Nayyar moulded the character of Raj around some of his cousins.