Hooman, Bryn & Uzette Discuss ‘The Big Sick’ With Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon!

SAN FRANCISCO (RADIO ALICE) – In the film The Big Sick, a one-nighter blossoms into love and romance when grad student Emily meets Pakistan-born comedian Kumail after one of his shows.


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Some dating obstacles come their way as his family’s Muslim traditions and his own Western ideals start to clash. To make matters worse, Emily comes down with a mystery illness where in order to save her life, doctors must place her in an induced coma. Forcing Kumail to get through the crisis with Emily’s parents, Beth and Terry played by Holly Hunter and Ray Romano.

Take it from Uzette, both the characters in the movie and the audience goes through an emotional roller coaster through profound pain and immense joy. Towards the very end of the film, Uzette’s tears flowed even more so heavily at the happiest moment when Emily and Kumail are once again together…at last.

“I think happy tears is like the best emotion possible.” Kumail Nanjiani reassures Uzette. A hint in his voice tells us that kind of “joy” is what he wants to convey as he wrote the autobiographical film along with his wife Emily V. Gordon.

He’s practically considered a Bay Area native, after all, Nanjiani is best known as software engineer Dinesh Chugtai on the hit HBO comedy series Silicon Valley. But it’s the real-life romance between Nanjiani and Gordon that’s being told on the big screen. With just half the couple playing their roles in the film. Gordon let actress Zoe Kazan portray her.

SEATTLE, WA – MAY 18: Kumail Nanjiani (L) and Emily V. Gordon attend the 43rd Seattle International Film Festival Opening Night at McCaw Hall on May 18, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Seattle International Film Festival) Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (credit: Mat Hayward/Getty Images)

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 18:  Kumail Nanjiani (L) and Emily V. Gordon attend the 43rd Seattle International Film Festival Opening Night at McCaw Hall on May 18, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Seattle International Film Festival)

During their interview, Bryn asked Gordon if there was a chance that she would have taken the role. Emily said no, and that she “really flubbed the audition.” She said she was not ready. She didn’t have her lines, she brought the wrong clothes and according to Kumail, Emily used a strong Boston accent that prompted his response with “Emily…this is not the deh-paaahh-ted [departed]”.

Uzette then asked Nanjiani whether or not he knew the show, Silicon Valley was going to be a big hit. “…It’s always a surprise when something goes well. There’s no way to expect success.” Nanjiani said. On Dinesh’s relationship with Gilfoyle, Nanjiani said he is really hoping they “hook up” at the end of the series. Could that have been a spoiler reveal?

Back to The Big Sick conversation, Hooman raised the question of whether or not a certain scene in the movie actually happened to the couple in real life. The scene involved a moment where Emily and Kumail were having “pre-marital sex” (Hooman’s words) and finding an urgent need to go to the restroom at the utmost inappropriate time. “I think it’s happened to every woman, and probably every dude too,” Gordon explains. “When you’re getting to know of someone, everything is kind of perfect. Then once you get in there a little bit, there’s a moment of like, ‘Oh we’re real people that have bodily functions’ and it’s always a little weird at the beginning of a relationship to kind of negotiate the bodily functions we all have. I just never seen it in a movie. But I experienced it.” For Gordon, the scene was a must to put it in the movie.

Related: ‘The Big Sick’ Movie Review

The discussion went local when the couple was asked about their favorite thing about San Francisco. Emily answered with, of course … the food. “Everybody has a recommendation in San Francisco where you absolutely have to eat and so we make sure that we eat at all of them.” she said. “It’s just amazing, you can get almost anything there,” In particular, she calls out House of Nanking in San Francisco’s North Beach as their must-go-to spot, despite having to wait in the long lines to get in.

For Kumail, he loves that “everybody is into so many different, fun activities.” His answer gave Uzette an opportunity to ask about filming Silicon Valley in the Bay Area. A majority of the show is filmed indoors on a sound stage in Southern California. Nanjiani says the cast gets to film outdoor shots in the Bay Area just a couple days in the year. So keep an eye out, HBO already renewed the next season of Silicon Valley arriving in 2018.

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