[x] If you want to see him go to the fish store.
Oh God, this was on TV years ago and my family still talk about it! He’s a wee penguin who lives in Japan; he was rescued by a Japanese fisherman, and ended up going home to live with the family. They built him a little refrigerator room to live in, and he became the family pet. Then one day he went shopping with them, and got very excited about the fish shop (understandably!) and now he goes off on his own to pick up fish from the fish shop for the family, which he brings back in his little penguin backpack, having nommed his own fish at the fish shop. IT IS THE BEST THING EVER.
Stereotypes happen. I try not to embrace them or avoid them. My job is to focus on bringing characters to life in an honest and personal way.
That being said, I did play three Sanjays in 2007. Yep. Three different Sanjays: one in a TV pilot, one in an independent film, and one in a cable show.*
Two ‘Sanjays’ might be a coincidence. Three ‘Sanjays’ is a flat-out trend. So what caused the ‘2007 Sanjay fever’? Was it the success of American Idol sensation ‘Sanjaya’? Possibly. Well? Yes. But what concerns me more is something deeper, something sinister revealed within this data. Maybe when people look at me all they see is a ‘Sanjay’. Like a 45-year-old woman with blonde hair, a fake tan, and long fingernails who works at a salon is probably a Debbie, am I a ‘Sanjay’?
Here are some of the words used in the casting descriptions for ‘Sanjay’: “quirky”, “mild-mannered”, “placid facade”, “virginal” and “allergic to dogs”. Dangit. These words fit me. But in Sanskrit, the word ‘Sanjay’ actually means “Victorious”, or “Conqueror”. Hmmm, “Victorious Conqueror” doesn’t exactly fit me, but my wife hopes that someday it will.
Regardless of the reasons for ‘Sanjay Fever’, I have learned that a name can only reveal so much. Though people might find comfort in naming me Raj, Arash or Sanjay, I know that I can be more than a ‘Quirky Virgin’; I can also be a ‘Victorious Conqueror’ (someday). After all, my real name is Daniel, and I am named after a Polish rock star.
*I auditioned for a 4th Sanjay in 2007 but ultimately lost the role to a friend.
Danny Pudi, who plays Abed on Community, writing in GQ about what he calls “The Year of Sanjay.”
He is remarkably sanguine in interviews about his experiences with racial typecasting. Nevertheless, this story makes me a bit sad. (via applesandibexes)
I’m gonna need Hollywood to STOP FUCKING NAMING EVERY MALE INDIAN CHARACTER SANJAY OR RAJ. The male name spectrum goes FAR BEYOND those two names.
Indian men are not some monolith of awkward, virginal nerds.
So Danny, you tell them WHAT THE FUCK IS UP. (via lafemmeindienne)