Directed by Michael Showalter, the film stars Nanjiani as an up-and-coming standup comic and Zoe Kazan as Emily, a grad student studying to be a therapist. The movie recounts their early relationship, as they meet and fall in love in Chicago. Just like in real life, their relationship is challenged when Emily contracts a rare disease that forces her into a coma. During this frightening time, while doctors struggle to diagnose and treat her, Kumail sticks around the hospital. He gets to know her parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) and summons the courage to tell his traditional Pakistani family that he has fallen for Emily.
I caught up with Kumail Nanjiani about the challenging process of casting his family in The Big Sick, his evolution as a standup comedian, and the complicated layers of immigrant identity that he explores in his film.
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