Kumail Nanjiani Biography

Kumail Nanjiani photo

Born: February 21, 1978

Stand-up comedian and actor Kumail Ali Nanjiani was born in Karachi, Pakistan and is best known for the movie The Big Sick (2017) and HBO’s Silicon Valley (2014 to 2019).

At the age of 18 Kumail moved to the United States and attended Grinnell College in Iowa, graduating with a a double major in Computer Science and Philosophy. Kumail became a huge fan of Hugh Grant, whose performance in the 1994 hit movie Four Weddings and a Funeral inspired him to start his stand-up career.

Kumail landed his first small screen role in 2008 as an Indian Reporter on Saturday Night Live. TV would be where Kumail primarily resided for the next few years, with appearances on shows such as Michael & Michael Have Issues (2009), Ugly Americans (2010), Portlandia (2011-2018) and Veep (2013). After years of mostly guest spots and small roles, Kumail finally began landing recurring roles on shows such as Franklin & Bash (2011-2014), Adventure Time with Finn & Jake (2012-2016), Burning Love (2013) and Newsreaders (2013).

Kumail made his feature film debut in the Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl rom-com, Life as We Know It (2010). Kumail would continue to find smaller roles in comedy films over the next few years, including minor roles in The Five-Year Engagement (2012) and The Kings of Summer (2013).

Kumail broke out in a big way after being cast on the hit HBO series Silicon Valley in 2014. The series helped launch him into stardom in the mainstream as he began to add more credits to his ever growing resumé. Film credits during the next few years include Sex Tape (2014), Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (2015), and Hello, My Name is Doris (2015), and Central Intelligence (2016).

Kumail achieved one of his lifelong dreams in 2016 when he worked with actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson on his favorite TV series of all time, The X-Files.

The next year would be his biggest yet as Kumail finally got his leading man role in a Hollywood feature film, The Big Sick (2017). The film was a personal passion project that he co-wrote with his wife Emily V. Gordon, as it was based on their own story of how they met and eventually got married. He would also be named Comedy Star of the Year at the 2017 CinemaCon and was named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch" at the Hamptons International Film Festival.

In 2019 Kumail appeared on Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone reboot and joined Sony’s blockbuster franchise Men in Black, with the series’ first spin-off film Men in Black: International. He can also be seen starring alongside Dave Bautista in the buddy cop comedy film Stuber (2019).

Kumail and Emily V. Gordon married in July of 2007. At the 2018 Academy Awards they were both nominated for an Oscar for their screenplay The Big Sick.

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