At the pinnacle of the entertainment industry as one of the world’s best paid actors, the 35-year-old British-Indian has become one of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood.
“I feel like the tallest guy in the room,” he tells AFP in an interview to promote his latest project, a main part in DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls alongside Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick.
“Maybe I’m the short guy who got the beautiful woman, I don’t know. I have no qualms about it. She’s not only a beautiful person, she’s also an amazing human being.”
The Big Bang Theory
Nayyar has good reason for his easy self-confidence – his salary has catapulted from $100,000 per episode to a reported $800,000 for his role in The Big Bang Theory. He is making around $22 million a year, according to Forbes, making him the world’s fourth highest paid television actor, a short distance behind three fellow cast members.
There has been much speculation over whether season 10 of The Big Bang Theory will be the last. While, Nayyar says he’s “not ready to say goodbye yet”, he is already looking forward. Kunal plans to star in Bollywood.
Outside of the show, he recently took on a starring part in Jesse Eisenberg’s acclaimed play “The Spoils” and has a successful book. The book is apparently not a memoir and is called “Yes, My Accent Is Real.”
“Trolls”, inspired by the fuzzy-headed dolls popular in the early 1990s, is set for release in the U.S. on November 4th.
The child friendly film follows Poppy and Branch on their mission to rescue their friends from the Bergens, giants who believe the only way to lift their melancholy is to eat the cute, colorful trolls.
Nayyar plays one of the captives, an endearing little troll called Guy Diamond – who refuses to wear clothes and farts glitter as a means of spreading joy.
When he talks about the film’s message that “humanity is about positivity and love”, he comes across like his animated character — disarming.
“It’s a film for both kids and adults and the music is incredible… And the world looks beautiful — the hair on the trolls, the glitter on Guy Diamond, the quality,” he enthuses.
Born in London and brought up in New Delhi, Nayyar moved to the U.S. at 18, initially to pursue a business degree at the University of Portland, Oregon.
He was already on The Big Bang Theory when he met his wife on a trip to India. He married her there in 2011, in a lavish six-day ceremony involving white horses and 1,000 guests.
The couple were dubbed “Beauty and the Geek,” irritating the groom. Nayyar admits he gets frustrated by the media conflating him with Raj, his shy, nerdish character on the sitcom.
“I think the world is becoming a smaller place and I really do believe in the bottom of my heart — and this may sound trivial to some people — that good always overcomes evil,” he tells AFP.
“That’s why the universe, the world, is where it is today. A lot of bad things have happened in the past, in many different generations. Our parents survived world wars. I think we’re going to be okay.”