Kumail Nanjiani may be known for his comedic roles, but viewers should be prepared to see him in a whole different light as he plays the founder of Chippendales Steve Banerjee in new Disney Plus true crime series Welcome to Chippendales.


The series sees Banerjee going to any lengths necessary to secure the male strip joint's success, and Nanjiani recently explained that the character's journey into darkness was a particular draw for him, as he referenced an iconic drama.

Speaking exclusively with RadioTimes.com and explaining his reason for taking on the role, Nanjiani said: "The reason I wanted to do it was because I hadn't gotten an opportunity to play someone like this.

"My favourite genre of movie and TV show was people spiralling into darkness - Breaking Bad, an amazing show about a pure guy sort of turning dark. And I felt like opportunities like this never come my way so I had to take it on.

"So I said yes to it without really knowing what the prep was going to be or how I was going to do it."

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Kumail Nanjiani in Welcome to Chippendales
Kumail Nanjiani in Welcome to Chippendales. Hulu

Nanjiani went on to explain how he went about getting into character, saying: "It took me a few months of thinking and talking to my acting teacher and talking to Emily [V Gordon], my wife, and long walks, to sort of figure out who this guy was, what was inside of him.

"We were thinking about people we knew, types of people we knew. And using my own experiences, I gave him some of my experiences, some of my insecurities. But I ultimately came up with eight different categories to try and figure out who this guy is.

"What's his relationship to other people? What's his relationship to men, to women, to himself, to his own body? What's his intellect? What's his education level? Is he an introvert, is he an extrovert? Is he funny? What's his morality? That was a really important way in.

"And then ultimately the idea of an immigrant coming to America, trying to make it in an industry that's not built for immigrant success was something I personally related with."

The series also stars Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Dan Stevens and Juliette Lewis amongst others, and has already streamed all of its eight episodes on Hulu in the US.

In 2021, Nanjiani made his MCU debut playing Kingo in Marvel's Eternals, with that film's writers Ryan and Kaz Firpo previously expressing an interest in a spin-off Disney Plus series focused on the character.

Check out the full Big RT Interview with Kumail Nanjiani on RadioTimes.com on Wednesday 11th January.

Welcome to Chippendales will stream on Disney Plus in the UK from 11th January 2023. Sign up to Disney Plus now for £79.90 for a year or £7.99 a month.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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