What we learned from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily S. Gordon at the Sydney Q&A for The Big Sick

Upcoming big-screen romantic comedy The Big Sick is set to debut to Australian audiences on August 3rd. However, that didn’t stop Kumail Nanjiani and Emily S. Gordon from dropping into an early Sydney screening of the film for a quick Q&A session with Rove McManus.

If you’re still holding out to see the film, it might be worth coming back to this article after you’ve seen it because  there are some spoilers here.

Here’s what we learned:

As you might expect, showing a romantic-comedy based on your real-life experience to your friends and family is a bit weird. However, Kumail and Emily indicated that right from the getgo everyone responded really positively to the film – which was a relief for them.

Apparently, The Big Sick was the cheapest film that Judd Apatow has ever been involved with. Chasing this claim up online, it looks like it might well be the case. Most of Apatow’s movies boast budgets well above the $12 million that Amazon on spent the rights to the film (which itself is presumably higher than the actual cost of production).

In real life, Emily spent eight days in the hospital – over which Kumail bonds with her parents.  In the film, the length of her stay is a little more nebulous. Kumail indicates this was done intentionally for storytelling reasons.

Of the several other comedians who appear in the film as Kumail’s colleagues, Bo Burnham was the first to be cast (alongside Kurt Braunohler and Aidy Bryant). During the Q&A, Kumail explained that the casting choices here weren’t meant to reflect the reality of ‘his group’ of comedians but rather the different archetypes or personalities who inhabit the Chicago comedy scene.

So much for happy endings. Kumail and Emily ended up marrying a few months after the story told in the film ends but were advised to cut it from the script because of concerns it wouldn’t be believable enough.

The Big Sick releases in Australian cinemas on the 3rd of August.


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