Aziz Ansari Q&A: ‘Master of None’

Aziz Ansari has a critically acclaimed hit with his new Netflix comedy series “Master of None,” which has already reaped bids from the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe awards and is a frontrunner at the the upcoming Emmys. However, as he reveals during our recent webcam chat (watch above), “you show ‘Master of None’ to certain people in this industry and they would say ‘I don’t know if this can relate to a mainstream audience.’ Which is basically coded speak for ‘I don’t think white people would relate to it.’” And, he concludes, “I hope ‘Master of None’ has shown that everyone has drama and humor in their life. You don’t have to look like the kind of everyman that we have been told is the everyman. The everyman is not a straight white guy. The everyman is everybody.”

He plays Dev Shah, a son of immigrants trying to navigate relationships and life in New York. Ansari — who co-created the show with “Parks and Recreation” writer/producer Alan Yang — says that, “all these problems that might seem really personal are very universal. We can all laugh at them and all have our personal versions of those problems. We don’t have to limit ourselves to the kind of stories and the people whose stories we explore.”

To tell his story, Ansari enlisted his real-life parents to play Dev’s mom and dad on the show. He readily allows, “it is definitely very surreal to have them on set. They see what I do all day and understand my job. A lot of people don’t understand how television is made. It’s a weird process and a lot of work goes into it. it really opened their eyes as to what I do.”

Ansari came to fame playing comedically heightened roles including Tom Haverford in “Parks and Recreation.”  He quickly concedes, “I’ve never really had an opportunity to do something like this, or explore a character like this and to do a show that was a little more dramatic. so I was ready to show this other side of me as an actor.” Having said that, he contends, “I do think it is a true comedy. We go for hard jokes and it’s really funny.”

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UPLOADED Jul 15, 2016 3:59 pm