Mom reluctant, dad, a gastroenterologist, enthused.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: When it came time to cast the parts of Aziz Ansari’s parents in his upcoming Netflix comedy “Master of None,” the Indian American actor decided to keep it in the family — literally.
“There are not a ton of old Indian guys that are actors, and I feel my dad is uniquely funny,” Ansari said at a Television Critics Association panel at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills on Tuesday. His father, a gastroenterologist, was very enthusiastic about the idea. Conversely, his mother was not so not so keen to play his mom on the show, reported Deadline Hollywood.
However, Ansari decided none of the other actresses he auditioned for the role “felt like my real mom,” so told his mother, “If you love me, you’ll do this.”
Ansari’s new series reunites him with “Parks and Recreation’s” showrunner Mike Schur and screenwriter Alan Yang, all three of whom are executive producers.
“[Mike Schur] pulled me aside one day when we were shooting and said, ‘Hey, we have this thing for your parents. Do you think your dad and mom would want to do it?’ And my mom was just, like, ‘No. I would never do it.’ And my dad was, like, ‘I’m in,'” Ansari remarked at the panel, according to People magazine.
“Master Of None” is a quasi-autobiographical comedy in which Ansari will play Dev, described in an official press release as “a 30year-old actor in New York who has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of his life.”
The television series, which is slated to debut on November 6, is partially inspired by Ansari’s stand-up comedy and book, “Modern Romance: An Investigation,” but delves deeper into some subjects and touches on others for the first time, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“The show is definitely not a relationship show,” Ansari told reporters during the TCA press tour.
During the panel, Anzari noted that he first comes up with the topics he’s interested in exploring and then builds on them for the show — a markedly different approach from his stand-up material.
“You can explore them in a different way with a TV show,” Ansari said. Yang added that while stand-up is a monologue, the show will explore empathy and other emotions in a more nuanced fashion.