“You know, when I heard the story of their romance and their relationship, I just felt this would make an incredible movie,” said Producer Judd Apatow.
Kumail Nanjiani and Apatow met at SXSW in 2012 and that is where the seeds for The Big Sick began to grow. The last week of 2016, Apatow posted about the experience on his Instagram page, “The week Girls premiered five years ago. I did Pete Holmes‘ podcast with Chris Gethard and Kumail. I didn’t know these three men. In 2016, I got to work with Pete on Crashing for HBO, Chris’ one man show Career Suicide also for HBO and Kumail’s movie The Big Sick. You will see all of those projects in 2017. I am glad Pete’s manager Dave Rath strong armed me into doing the You Made It Weird podcast. It was meant to be. Or I am lazy about meeting people to work with.”
The Big Sick is based on the real-life courtship between Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (script co-writers), and tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets.
The film is directed by Michael Showalter, who co-wrote and directed the SXSW 2015 Audience Award-winning film Hello, My Name Is Doris. Apatow and Barry Mendel serve as producers, both of whom have had several projects screen at the SXSW Film Festival including Knocked Up (2007) Girls (2012), God Help the Girl (2014), Trainwreck (2015), and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016). Apatow also had a cameo in James Franco’s The Disaster Artist (2017). Additionally, two features Apatow had at the festival this year, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers and The Big Sick won Audience Award accolades.
Be sure to check out our Q&A with Apatow, Mendel, Gordon and Nanjiani below, moderated by SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson. Comedian Hannibal Buress also makes a surprise appearance!
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