Is Kunal Authentically Indian?
Apparently, some people out there question Kunal Nayyar’s Indianness. Yes, despite the actor publishing an autobiography titled, Yes, My Accent is Real. It seems odd to me that some people would question this. I never questioned Kunal while watching the Big Bang Theory. In the upcoming animation film, Trolls, Kunal has given his Indian voice to a troll called Guy Diamond.
Interestingly, the role was reinterpreted as an Indian character following his inclusion. That’s very cool.
“I guess that is the perk of being on a big TV show watched by 22 million people. I am lucky that it puts me ahead in the line.” He is at pains to shoot down the oft-made assumption that voice-acting is simply about saying dialogues. “When the character sits down, you have to remember to grunt to indicate the effort. When the character runs, you have to remember to huff and puff.” He enjoys the process and says it contributes to his evolution as an actor. “It reminds me to use more physicality, tap into external forces. It helps me put into practice the outside-in approach.” Outside-in is an acting process that advocates that the portrayal relies a lot on the external traits of a character.
Kung Fu Panda
Kunal is a big fan of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Ugh. Not me. But to each their own. Considering that the third sequel of the franchise was released this year, maybe he could voice a character if the gravy train keeps rolling. Kunal hopes so. Even though he’s a brand now, Kunal isn’t the type to try and manufacture his performance into standing out. “That takes you out of the moment. I like to have fun,” he says.
The character he plays in The Big Bang Theory, Rajesh Koothrappali, is an Indian who has healthy relationships with his Western friends, without really having to compromise on his identity and accent. Kunal says he’s like that too.
“I understand the desire of NRIs to blend in. I really, really do. But the only way I can live with myself is if I am fiercely 1,000% myself at all times. I say, wear your identity on your sleeves. I didn’t decide to be an Indian in America. I’m just proud to be myself.”
I would love to meet Kunal Nayyar one day. He seems like such a nice guy. He’s famous and has acquired a good bit of money, but he’s just worried about having a good time with his work. His wife is lucky. Nayyar seems like the type of guy you want to bring home to mom. Let’s hope Johnny Galecki is like that. He’s also his own kind of cute.
I still don’t know if I want to see Trolls. I might just check it out when it comes out on Netflix. But I do hope he gets that role he wants in Kung Fu Panda. I love a guy who loves cartoons.
Are any of you going to see Trolls? Tell us in the comments below.