Kumail Nanjiani hasn’t heard from his The Big Sick costar Ray Romano about their SAG Awards nomination yet, but he’s sure he will.
“We text all the time,” Nanjiani says. So what’s the Everybody Loves Raymond comedian like as a texter? “He has a lot of line breaks in his texts,” Nanjiani shares. “It’s not a chunk of text. Every sentence is a paragraph. And he’s very funny on text. … We’ll text about the movie, or about how a Q&A went, or random stuff — he met Bruce Springsteen and Bruce Springsteen and [wife Patti Scialfa] loved our movie, so he’ll text me that.”
Hearing things like that, Nanjiani says, is one of the perks of The Big Sick‘s success: The film, which he and co-writer Emily Gordon based on their own relationship, came out in June and was immediately heralded by, well, everyone as a relevant, funny, and poignant romantic comedy. The SAG Awards are joining the chorus, nominating the cast —Adeel Akhtar, Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan, Anupam Kher, Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, and Zenobia Shroff — for best ensemble (Hunter also got an individual acting nod). It has a near-perfect score of 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and, as Nanjiani revealed, even counts the Boss as a fan — as well as Steven Spielberg, which brings us to Nanjiani’s recent tweet about the filmmaker.
The nominations for this year’s Golden Globes were announced Monday, and The Big Sick was notably left out. Many people, celebrities included, tweeted about their disappointment, but Nanjiani chose to use the platform in a different way that morning.
“Hey gang. This is Steven Spielberg tweeting from Kumail’s phone,” he tweeted. “My fave movie this yr was The Big Sick. It’s avail on Amazon Prime & iTunes & all that. Great movie to watch w the fam. I watched it w my family (the Spielbergs) & we all loved it. Handing phone back to Kumail now.”
“I just was like, it’s so obvious, there’s no way Steven Spielberg would be at my house at 6 a.m., but, honestly, I have met him and he liked the movie!” Nanjiani tells EW. “I figured he’d think it was funny too, so I just thought it was a funny little weird thing. I’m literally his biggest fan in the world — like, when I met him, it was really embarrassing because you want to try and play it cool, but I was like, ‘Um, so I have a couple questions about Close Encounters of the Third Kind.‘”
Luckily, Spielberg didn’t react like this exchange was a real-life close encounter of the third kind. “[One of the exciting things] is meeting people who are your heroes, people who you look up to, people who you’re a fan of, and when they say that they’ve watched your movie and liked it, and they treat you like a peer rather than some weirdo at Comic-Con or something,” Nanjiani laughs, “that’s really, really wonderful.”