When a project is completed, it’s easy to forget what a long shot it was at the outset. The market wasn’t exactly crying out for a movie about a woman in a coma starring a Pakistani immigrant who questions his faith. But when Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily V. Gordon wrote The Big Sick, working for years without any guarantee of success, they wrote a script so strong, it was undeniable.
There are so many neglected stories in movies today. Kumail and Emily took theirs and made it heartfelt and funny, and at an enormous personal risk—because there’s nothing more humiliating than sharing the most important story in your life and having the movie be awful.
Kumail is one of our most hilarious, unique stand-up comedians. But what is most exciting about him is that he is the new comedic voice that we need. His incredibly funny Saturday Night Live monologue made it impossible not to see the ridiculousness of intolerance. He reminds people how fundamental a misunderstanding it is that a community of almost 2 billion people is to be feared. We’re lucky to have Kumail. We need a thousand more.
Apatow is a producer, director and Emmy-winning screenwriter