Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista talk about their new movie Stuber

Updated: 19 September, 2020 08:35 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

In this interview, Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista talk about their first meeting, what they wish they knew before shooting, their pre-shoot rituals, the stunts, and the film.

Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista
Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista

Stuber, an action comedy film directed by Michael Dowse, follows a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu who picks up a passenger who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer. The film stars renowned actors Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani as Victor Manning and Stu Prasad.

In this interview, the actors talk about their first meeting, what they wish they knew before shooting, their pre-shoot rituals, the stunts, and the film. Star Movies will be premiering the film for the first time on television on September 20, 2020, at 12 pm and 9 pm.

What was it like meeting each other?

Dave: I wasn't really concerned about that I was really excited to meet Kumail. I think it was pure excitement to meet him. I was stressed about all kinds of other stuff. I am always stressed for auditions or chemistry tests because they are just uncomfortable, but I had a lot going on and I travelled in the night before to do this.

Kumail: Yeah! The call was like early on a Saturday. I was not nervous to meet Dave, I was excited to meet him. I knew that we would get along well; we have friends in common but I was just nervous as he had said even though they are not auditioning anyone else it's still nerve-wracking, it's uncomfortable, but we were uncomfortable together. I remember that one of the scenes that we were trying to do that felt like to me in the chemistry read, it just felt so awkward and difficult because you are in a room to be whatever and when we shot that it was like the easiest thing in the world because we had done it like in the worst possible situations so then doing it in the real place was like a breeze.

What do you wish you knew before filming on day one?

Dave: I think for me I need a grace period to actually to just find myself in this character. I don't feel like I am really in a groove until a week or so in so I am always really self-conscious about what I do early on in the film.

Kumail: For me, I wish I had known how difficult action acting is and all physical acting of that nature. I wish I'd known, I would have prepared more for it because I really did not go in. I would have been in better shape for it and this was brutal!

What are your pre-shoot rituals?

Dave: I don't know; I am most unprepared. I try to stay out of my head and try not to get all wrapped up in rehearsing stuff in my head. I kind of want to know what the gist of the scene is, what the conversation is but I'll find it as we go.

Kumail: I really am the opposite. It makes me less nervous if I at least have a version of what the scene is like and then that actually makes it more flexible. I can change and work with the other person, but for me, I don't listen to music or anything. I just want to be loose and talking to people. I don't like it when right before the scene I am cooped up somewhere. I want to be interacting with people and I want to feel like myself.

Dave, did you give Kumail any tips on how to pull punches and stuff?

Dave: I don't think so. I mean I was always there, always discussing but we had qualified professionals and I am always really careful to not step on to others' toes. If I have an opinion about something I will give it, but when you are working with someone on certain things, especially when there are safety issues, they are very much more qualified than I am. I mean we talked about it, I think it was more me because it was a new thing for Kumail. It was a new experience and I was, I am, very comfortable with physical stuff. So I think it was more me giving him a pep talk like you are really good! You look good, you are in good shape!

Did you like all the layers the script had?

Dave: I say this all the time. I think what really makes a good film is when you can become invested in it and when you can actually connect with the film instead of being disconnected and you have a random laugh. You leave, you walk away and never think about it again, but if you leave a film and you actually talk about the film, certain subjects, I think that is a connection and that is what is going to set us apart because we are not there to just make people laugh, we are there to have a discussion and it's a funny discussion when you openly talk about it.

Kumail: I felt like if we are making an action movie in this day and age you have to talk about it. Specifically what is masculinity and how it has been traditionally defined, that needs to be redefined. I feel like everything that falls into masculinity needs to be expanded and that's really what this movie is about, it's okay for men to cry, to feel other feelings and all that stuff. So putting it in the context of a movie that is traditionally a very 'dude' movie, we felt like if we could get away with this... it would be awesome.

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First Published: 19 September, 2020 08:30 IST

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