Interview: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon on turning crisis into comedy for The Big Sick

Emily V. Gordon was still just dating Kumail Nanjiani when she came down with a bug so bad that the doctors had to put her into a coma just to keep her alive. This is the big sick of The Big Sick, the charming autobiographical comedy the two wrote together. Opening in select theaters today (June 23) after a warm reception at Sundance, The Big Sick casts Nanjiani, one of the stars of HBO’s Silicon Valley, as a lightly fictionalized version of the budding stand-up comedian he was 10 years ago. Gordon, author of the sardonic self-help book Super You, is meanwhile played by Zoe Kazan. The film covers a lot of ground, from cross-cultural romance to the relationship between parents and their children to the cutthroat comedy scene. But its center is the scary medical emergency that brought its married screenwriting duo closer together. (Three months after Gordon …

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