Kunal Nayyar misses celebrating Diwali back home in the UK, where he grew up. He throws an annual party during the festival and teaches his friends the “rules of teen patti”. He is thrilled that Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are entering Hollywood.
Kunal, who has made a mark with his hit sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, all around the world, is now looking forward to entertaining the audience with an animation film that he has dubbed for. Excerpts from the interview:
With Priyanka and Deepika making a mark in Hollywood, do you have any advice for them?
What advice can I give them (laughs)? They are movie stars. When you reach a certain level in Bollywood, you have a sense of protection; you become untouchable. That doesn’t exist that much in Hollywood. You still have to keep fighting [for good work]. They (Priyanka and Deepika) are incredibly talented and brilliant professionals, because of which they have made it so far.
In a recent TV interview in the US, Priyanka Chopra was asked if she knew how to speak in English before she started working on her American TV show. Are Americans that ignorant about Indians?
I have never faced that. You pick any country in the world, and there will be a fraction of society that is educated and others who are ignorant. I am sure there are some people in this country (USA) who are ignorant, and there are people in India who are ignorant (about Americans). But a majority of the people that I have interacted with are fascinated by Indian culture, and are welcoming.
Recently, you tweeted, ‘Just too much hate on the Internet’. What kind of social media experiences have you had?
I am not sure where the hate of internet trolls comes from. There is something funny about human nature. If a 100 people say, “Amazing”, but one person says, “You are horrible”, you will pay attention to that one comment (laughs). Most trolls want attention, and the way to get it is to say something incriminating. There is a lot of hate online, but there is a lot of love as well.
How was the experience of dubbing for the animated movie Trolls?
I got a call from the producers and I jumped at the opportunity. I love animation and it was a dream for me to be a part of this movie. The beauty of working on any animated character is the freedom you get as an actor. It awakens the inner child in you. When you are shooting, you are defined by the physical space of the camera. But while dubbing, you can show up in your pyjamas and do the dubbing. It is fun. Whenever I went to dub, I was always in a good mood.
The popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory that you feature in is in its 10th season. What has driven you to play your character, Raj, for so long?
I am living the dream of an actor. To be in a project in which the quality of writing is exceptional and the chemistry between the cast is so amazing is any actor’s dream. I am more motivated now because I am sure the end will come at some point and I want to soak everything in.