Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar reveals the unusual method he used to nail the British accent for his new role

Virgin Radio

4 Feb 2022, 12:11

The actor joined The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky this morning to talk about his new series Suspicion and what he had to do to nail the British accent.

Most of you will know Kunal Nayyar from his iconic role as the girl-shy Raj Koothrappali from the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

The show was a huge hit and ran for 12 years before coming to a bittersweet end in 2019. Ready to try out a new character after playing Raj for so long, Kunal is now starring in the latest crime thriller from Apple TV, Suspicion.

He plays a British man called Aadesh Chopra, who used to work in cybersecurity but now finds himself living with his in-laws and working as a carpet salesman.

When Chris marvelled at how good Kunal’s British accent was, the actor revealed just how difficult he found it to master.

He explained: “I grew up in India, and we have maybe some similar sounds, so I thought it'd be easy, but no, it wasn't. I mean, and I've lived in America since 1999. So, I don't even know what I sound like.

“What I would do for practice, I would get into black cabs. And I would drive around in black cabs and speak to the taxicab drivers.

“You know, you press the little bunny button, and it comes out all tinny, and I'm like, [in British accent] “Hey, man, what's going? How's your day going?’”

He added: “It took a while for me, and then we shut down for the pandemic and came back five months later. So, there are some words I’m watching it and saying, ‘Oh wow, I didn’t say that correctly’, but I'm hoping if you're paying attention to the story, it won't matter so much.”

Kunal also said he had always admired British actors’ ability to imitate other accents and the “disciplined approach” they have to the arts.

Suspicion follows a large corporate PR president played by Uma Thurman, who has just been named the US Ambassador to the UK. Not long after, her son gets kidnapped from a hotel in Manhattan, and a video of the event goes viral on social media.

Four British citizens who happened to be staying at the hotel on the same night of the kidnapping are then implicated in the crime, and their lives are turned upside down.

The first two episodes were released today, and people are already hooked.

Speaking about the plot, Kunal told Chris: “It’s maniacal. You can’t believe it, and then when you get to episode eight when you actually find out what happened and who did it and why, it’s shocking.”

He added later: “And you have to wait eight weeks to find out who did it…people binge-watch shows now, but I think this show really lends itself to waiting a week, digesting it and seeing what happens.”

The first two episodes of Suspicion are now available to watch on Apple TV+ with new episodes released every Friday.

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.