Yes, Maulik can do the accent

Maulik Pancholy of 30 Rock, one of the cutest actors on TV (or so the ladies tell me), talks about his cultural heritage in this funny video. “When I was an undergrad at Northwestern, there was definitely a part of my cultural identity that I shied away from, that I was very distanced from – and that was the Indian part of me,” he says.

Pancholy also talks about Hollywood’s portrayal of diversity. “There’s a lot more people of color in the industry now,” he says. “There’s certainly a lot more South Asians. I see that at every audition I’m at. I’m like, ‘Go home! Stop stealing my parts!'”

15 thoughts on “Yes, Maulik can do the accent

  1. I hope Maulik Pancholy is gay. Whenever I see him on television my gaydar just sets off. He’s very cute!

  2. Maulik speaks the truth. I was at that mixer. He didn’t really hang out with us in undergrad, ’cause most of us were pre-med and stuff. I didn’t like how the white people pronounced his name, “moe-LEEK”, and I always wondered if he asked them to say it that way.

    Whenever I see him on 30 Rock or Weeds or in movies (small part in Hitch, I think), it makes me smile. He’s had a better career than many in our class.

  3. To me this is basically a story of redemption. Maulik, at first, turned his back on his community when he first went to college, and his reason was the standard desi reasoning: That “they’re so different from me.” However, as time progressed, it probably occurred to him that the whites don’t need your friendship. So, he re-discovers his desi roots, simply because he had no other option. Now, he’s an Indian activist fighting for a just cause – that Indians should be portrayed fairly in the media.

  4. Yes, he’s gay, and I love that guy. He is, in fact, one of the cutest actors on TV PERIOD.

  5. Good for him — he makes sense here and is v articulate. Hope he is right about changes in the acting world.

  6. Why is his being gay the next thing we need to figure out? We all know how annoying it is when people you thought you knew dial you back to where they think you belong, viz., if I show an interest in cultural events that belong to traditions other than what these people think are my own, someone will point out a forthcoming tabla performance to make sure I’m pointed in the right direction.

  7. I had never heard of him until someone told me earlier this week that I looked like “Jonathan from 30 Rock.” I don’t see it, but if gals and gay guys find him attractive, I now accept that I am his doppelganger. 😉

  8. “Why is his being gay the next thing we need to figure out?”

    For rishta purposes, obvs.

  9. I started watching Weeds recently, and am in the middle of season 4. The character of Sanjay is great—-there were really only 2.5 gags that revolved around him being Indian, only 1 of which bothered me. The other 1.5 were hlarious. While the gags that revolve around him being gay are a little too thick for my taste (I just find it a little dumb when the whole punchline of a joke is This Character is Gay!) most of the gags center around him being him–a goofy, alternatingly terrified and impulsively brash kid who’s simultaneously afraid of getting into trouble and thrilled by it and basically can’t make up his mind which emotion to give in to. And the show’s treatment of him and all the various characters of color feels a lot more fair and evenhanded than most , b/c the Botwins’ and Hoades’s whiteness and privilege is constantly being probed and picked at and held up for display, unlike most shows where whiteness is invisible.

  10. Is Maulik Pancholy actually gay or are people just assuming this because he plays a gay character in a television program? I looked up the issue by google search and didn’t find any evidence of him actually being gay.

  11. This is exactly what the protagonist in Shades of Ray faced at auditions- glad to know that the movie was based in reality.

  12. So exciting to hear someone talk about not fitting into our standard conception of an indian identity. I don’t really see this as a story of him turning his back on his community, just finding a different path to making meaning of his identity. Too often we internalize what the media, model minority and our skewed perception of what really being “indian” or “south asian” means.

    Love his authenticity.