“Big Bang Theory” Meets Bollywood: Kunal Nayyar Teaches Conan Bollywood Dance Moves

 

There are many reasons to love Big Bang Theory‘s Kunal Nayyar who plays Rajesh “Raj” Koothrappali. When we met Nayyar in the summer of 2013, we learned that he’s quite unlike his socially awkward character, Raj. In fact, he had us laughing the entire photo shoot.

Now in 2014, it appears he still has people on the floor laughing. Recently, the 33-year-old Indian British actor appeared on Conan to say that he would love the opportunity to be in a Bollywood film one day.

Of course, you can’t go on a show like Conan and expect not to show off some dance moves after a statement like that. Luckily, Nayyar was ready. He very enthusiastically instructed O’Brien and Andy Richter to get on their feet so he could teach them some popular Bollywood dance moves.

“It’s difficult to do by the way. It’s not easy to commit to singing and dancing. Commit to ‘Hey we’re having a conversation and now I’m singing to you. Now I’m in love with you and I’m swinging around a tree.’ It’s hard to do you know?” Nayyar jokes.

Check out the segment below.

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Image of The Day: Kunal Nayyar Supports Miss America Nina Davuluri

There were many reactions to Nina Davuluri winning Miss America. Unfortunately, many of these reactions were not the praise and compliments that are typically showered upon a newly crowned Miss America.

Twitter exploded with racist comments about the first Indian Miss America. Many tweets referenced 9/11, called her a terrorist and even refused to acknowledge her as an American despite her being born and raised in New York. As expected, this gained nationwide attention, though not the attention we would hope for.

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In the midst of all the undeserved hate and racism, some good came from this. Many individuals fought back in support of Davuluri and her well-deserved title.

Among these supporters was The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar. The actor tweeted his congratulations, then quickly commented on the negative reactions to Miss America.

Nayyar, who was featured in our Summer 2013 issue, gives us yet another reason to love him.

Be sure to check out the Top Five Reasons Miss America Nina Davuluri is AWESOME

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Summer 2013 | Pop-arazzi: Kunal Nayyar

DEPT: Pop-arazzi
AUTHOR: Ada Tseng
ISSUE: Summer 2013
PHOTOS: Diana King
STYLIST: Skye Stewart- Short
GROOMER: Sonia Lee, Exclusive Artists

THE BIG BANG THEORY STAR IS NOTHING LIKE HIS CHARACTER — JUST ASK HIS MISS INDIA WIFE”

 

Having just completed its sixth season, the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory is more popular than it’s ever been (currently the highest-rated show in television with 20 million viewers), and 31-year-old Indian British actor Kunal Nayyar is working on his favorite storyline so far: his astrophysicist character Raj finally falls in love.

“It’s fun to explore that side of Raj,” says Nayyar, “to see him be vulnerable because he has a legitimate shot with a girl. I don’t think we’ve seen him genuinely like someone yet.”

Part of the reason Raj’s personal life has been so slow to develop is because he has social anxiety disorder, specifically selective mutism, which makes him unable to talk to women. Early in the first season, Raj discovered that alcohol overrides his psychological fears, and he has since experimented with other pharmaceutical drugs with varying results. Though often played for laughs, it’s a serious disorder that thwarts his desire to be a ladies’ man.

When Raj meets Lucy (played by Kate Micucci), he asks her out for coffee, only to have her excuse herself to go to the bathroom and sneak out the window. This sends Raj into a mini depression, and his friends find him alone in his apartment, bingeing on lobster, wearing only his tighty whities.

“You know, I’m not insecure about the way that I look, and as an actor, you’re just playing the circumstances,” says Nayyar. “But it’s not like I have a six-pack, so when I saw it, [knowing that] 20 million people were watching, I was like, ‘My God, time to go on a diet.’” He laughs. “But in my defense, I was wearing three [pairs of] underwear under the [top] one, because they wanted my tummy to stick out a little more.”

To see Raj failing at social interaction is not new, but this time, he wasn’t the reason the girl was scared away. Lucy later apologizes, admitting that she suffers from social anxiety and gets nervous around new people. Suddenly, Raj’s weaknesses that have crippled him in the past are the same qualities he uses to convince her to give him a chance.

When she finally agrees to a date, he calls out, “You won’t regret it! I’m the most pathetic guy you’ve ever met!”

“For the first time, Raj is the one who’s saying, ‘You have to put yourself out there,’” says Nayyar. “It’s their first date, and he’s worried that she’s going to have a panic attack, so [he says,] ‘let’s have a first date in a library,’ and ‘let’s text each other.’ He’s making an effort to take care of her, which I think is very sweet.”

In real life, Nayyar definitely doesn’t need help with the ladies — he married former Miss India Neha Kapur in 2011. Nonetheless, as The Big Bang Theory writers have gotten to know Nayyar over the years, they’ll sometimes slip in elements of real life into the character.

“Sometimes they’ll write something in the script, and I’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s how I, Kunal, talk,’” says Nayyar. “But sometimes it gets blurred. Sometimes my wife will be like, ‘You know, you’re sounding like Raj right now.’”

While The Big Bang Theory’s ratings have always been high, it wasn’t until after the show went into syndication in 2011 that Nayyar truly understood the extent of his reach. Now that people approach him in airports and restaurants all over the world, his success feels more tangible.

“I love playing a character that has this innocence and naiveté about him, because it’s rare in the real world,” says Nayyar. “I mean, it exists, but I’m not like that, so it’s great to be able to play a character that is pure, has good thoughts, loves his friends, and is really just a positive guy.”

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WHAT WERE YOU DOING 10 YEARS AGO?
“I was in Portland, Oregon. I had just turned 21, and I had my first beer; my brother bought me my first beer. I mean, I had had a beer before that, but I remember my first official beer. I went down to show my ID. And I was in a band called the Prince and the Pauper.”
— Kunal Nayyar

2013 Golden Globes Fashion – Asian Celebrity Edition!

Jamie Chung. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Recap some of the Golden Globes fashion from Sunday evening – all featuring some of your favorite Asian celebrities!


Shay Mitchell (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Dev Patel. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)

Nathan Adrian.

Nathan Adrian and Natalie Coughlin.

Archie Panjabi (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Berenice Marlohe (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

Life of Pi composer Mychael Danna with wife Aparna. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Life of Pi’s Sunaj Sharma, Ang Lee, and Tabu.

Freida Pinto in Antonio Beradi. (Photo courtesy of Getty)

Lucy Liu in Carolina Herrera. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Hannah Simone. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images)

Olivia Munn in Armani. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)

Life of Pi’s Ang Lee and Suraj Sharma. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)

Vanessa Hudgens in Jenny Packham. (Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post)

Actor Kunal Nayyar. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)

Aziz Ansari as a presenter with Jason Bateman at The 70th Golden Globes awards ceremony on January 13, 2013.

Golden Globes theme composer/Japanese rock artist Yoshiki. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo!)