Ray Romano (‘The Big Sick’) on almost saying no to the film: ‘Can you imagine if I turned this down?’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“There was a split second when I first got it and I heard a comedian is writing a script, and I was like, I don’t have to do this. But I just think now — can you imagine if I turned this down?” says Ray Romano about his initial skepticism regarding “The Big Sick.” He wasn’t initially familiar with the film‘s co-writer and star Kumail Nanjiani because “I’m older and out of the loop,” but “when I looked at it with the people involved and everything, I thought this has a chance to be something really special.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Romano above.

Romano plays Terry, whose daughter Emily (Zoe Kazan) suddenly falls ill and is put into a medically induced coma. It’s based on the true experiences of Nanjiani and his wife and co-writer Emily V. Gordon. However, Romano and his on-screen wife Holly Hunter didn’t have to worry about recreating Gordon’s actual parents since those characters are only loosely based on their real-life counterparts. “I did find out one thing, though,” Romano explains. “When Emily’s mother watched the rough copy of the film, after she was done she told Emily, ‘Holly is prettier than me, but your father is much handsomer than Ray Romano.’ So I knew that about him.”

Romano helped flesh out the rest of his character. “When you pair Holly Hunter and Ray Romano — that seems like an odd thing, and I invented my own little backstory of how this odd pairing could happen,” he says. “It was just kind of serendipitous, to use the biggest word I know, that it gelled and worked together … [Hunter] was very warm and welcoming and made me feel comfortable. And thank god because I was scared of her in the beginning.”

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