Kumail Nanjiani to Play Chippendales Founder Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee in Hulu Series
In this screengrab released on April 22, Pakistani American actor Kumail Nanjiani speaks during the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards broadcast on April 22, 2021. (Rich Fury/Getty Images for Film Independent)
WASHINGTON – Oscar-nominated Pakistani American actor Kumail Nanjiani will star as Chippendales founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee in the upcoming Hulu series, “Immigrant.”
According to Variety, the eight-episode limited series will tell the true story of Banerjee, the Indian American entrepreneur who started Chippendales.
The series will detail the “insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon.”
The forthcoming series is written by Robert Siegel and executive produced by Siegel, Nanjiani, Limelight’s Dylan Sellers and Chris Parker and Emily V. Gordon as well as Indian American Rajiv Joseph and Mehar Sethi, who will also write the series. 20th Television will produce.
Banerjee was an Indian American entrepreneur who struck gold in 1979 when he added a male stripper dance troupe for female audiences to the lineup at his Los Angeles, Calif., nightclub.
The first of its kind, the Chippendales have evolved to performing Broadway-style burlesque shows all over the world and at their flagship venue in Las Vegas.
But Banerjee’s legacy is shrouded in scandal. Hours before he was to be sentenced in 1994 for having his business partner, Emmy-winning director and choreographer Nick De Noia, killed in 1987, Banerjee died by suicide.
He was also indicted for plotting to kill some former Chippendale dancers he allegedly considered a threat.
Nanjiani is no stranger to television, having starred in the hit HBO comedy, “Silicon Valley,” throughout its six-season run. He has also been on shows like “Portlandia,” “Franklin and Bash,” and “Adventure Time.”
He picked up an Emmy nomination in 2019 for best guest actor in a drama series for “The Twilight Zone” reboot and is set to appear in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series at Disney Plus.
On the film front, he earned an Oscar nomination in 2018 alongside his wife, Emily V. Gordon, for “The Big Sick,” which is loosely based on the couple’s real life. He will now appear in the Marvel film, “Eternals,” as Kingo, a role for which he worked out extensively.