Why Kumail Nanjiani Couldn’t Refuse Welcome to Chippendales

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Not all roles are created equally. 

In the new limited series Welcome to Chippendales, premiering Nov. 22 on Hulu, Kumail Nanjiani plays Somen ‘”Steve”‘ Banerjee, the real-life founder of the iconic male dance revue.

It’s a story that’s as shocking as it is compelling—and it’s one that Kumail couldn’t believe was actually true.

“One of the first conversations I had with Robert Siegel, our creator, he told me he had the eight episode breakdown,” Kumail explained exclusively to E! News. “He was like, ‘And in episode four, this happens. In episode five, this happens.’ I kept stopping him to be like, ‘Did that really happen?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, this is all real.'”

So, Kumail knew what had to be done.

“My reaction was, ‘I have to do this. I have to play this character who does all these wild things because I want to figure out how to play him in a way that makes sense,”’ he said. “I was just really excited. At the end when he was done talking, I was like, ‘Well. I have no choice. I have to do this.'”

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