One of the surprise hits of the summer was “The Big Sick,” the Lionsgate and Amazon Studios comedy about a Pakistani comedian (Kumail Nanjiani) who falls in love with an American girl (Zoe Kazan), much to the chagrin of his traditional Muslim family. Their relationship takes an unexpected turn when she falls into a medically-induced coma, and he takes charge of the situation when her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) arrive. The film, which was released on blu-ray and DVD this week, scored a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and took in over $38 million at the box office. Gold Derby chatted with Nanjiani, Kazan, Hunter, director Michael Showalter, and co-writer Emily V. Gordon following its Sundance premiere.
Nanjiani, a co-star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” wrote the film with his wife Gordon, basing it on their real life experiences. “We knew that it was a very specific set of events, and… if we didn’t make this movie, no one else would,” reveals Gordon. They were encouraged to bring their unique love story to the screen by producer Judd Apatow. Although dipping back into their harrowing experience was difficult, Nanjiani explains, “At some point it became separate from our story and became its own thing.”
“I think it’s really interesting to do a movie where it’s a true story but… somebody who it happened to is in the movie,” divulges Hunter. “There’s something about that proximity that makes the movie more visceral.” Kazan was excited to do the film because, “I feel a dearth of stories about non-white people in popular culture in my own movie-going experience.”
Showalter, best known for alt-comedies like “Wet Hot American Summer,” adds that he wanted to direct “The Big Sick” because of “what the movie has to say about family and sickness and relationships, and cultural identity, and what it means to be an American.”
Click on each name below to watch their full interviews:
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.