Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon Interview: ‘The Big Sick’
“We knew that it was a very specific set of events, and… if we didn’t make this movie, no one else would,” reveals “The Big Sick” co-writer Emily V. Gordon during our recent interview (watch the exclusive video above). Directed by Michael Showalter, this Lionsgate and Amazon Studios film centers on Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani), a Pakistani comedian who falls in love with American Emily (Zoe Kazan), much to the ire of his traditional Muslim family. Their relationship takes a sudden turn when Emily falls into a medically-induced coma, and Kumail takes charge of the situation when her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) arrive.
Nanjiani, a co-star of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” wrote the film with his wife Gordon, basing it on their real life experiences. 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 reveals, “At some point it became separate from our story and became its own thing.”
Gordon and Najiani co-created “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail” alongside Jonah Ray. Nanjiani has had featured roles in “Portlandia,” as well the films “Fist Fight” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” Gordon has written for “The Carmichael Show,” “Power Up,” and “Explored.”
“The Big Sick” opened to wide critical acclaim and boffo box office in limited release. The film expands wide on July 14. Could it follow in the footsteps of such romantic comedies as “Annie Hall” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” at the Oscars?