Hulu’s forthcoming miniseries Welcome To Chippendales promises scandal, sexy male dancers, and even a little bit (or a lot) of murder. Kumail Nanjiani stars in the series as the nerdy, reserved immigrant Somen “Steve” Banerjee, who founded the famed exotic dance club in the ‘80s.
“This is by far the most challenging job I’ve ever done, in terms of the length of the shoot, the content of the scenes, and emotional difficulty of those scenes,” says Nanjiani in a new interview with Vanity Fair. “It’s one of those things where I just jumped in, and trusted that it’d reveal itself as it goes—and it did.”
The exclusive first-look images shared by Vanity Fair present Nanjiani as the uptight Banerjee, and flashes the ensemble cast comprised of Annaleigh Ashford, Juliette Lewis, Nicola Peltz Beckham, Dan Stevens, Philip Shahbaz, and Murray Bartlett (The White Lotus), who plays the Emmy-winning choreographer Nick De Noia.
The series is written by Rob Siegel, who’s known for his previous work on projects such as The Wrestler, The Founder, and most recently, Hulu’s Pam & Tommy starring Lily James and Sebastian Stan. What started as a feature film project for Siegel back in the early 2000s would spend decades gathering dust, until Hulu picked up the salacious project for the limited series treatment.
“It hit a lot of my pleasure buttons. It felt like Scarface or Goodfellas or Boogie Nights,” Siegel says. “It’s bad people doing bad things. But what differentiates it from another wannabe Martin Scorsese movie is that you take out Tony Montana and put in this nerdy, socially awkward Indian immigrant.”
The “socially awkward Indian immigrant” at the heart of this story goes on to commit plenty of seedy acts to ensure the success of his business, all of which will be on flashy display in Welcome To Chippendales. “He had so many moments where he could have taken the right road and he didn’t,” Nanjiani says of Banerjee. “There are five different forks and each time, each crossroad, he took the exact wrong path.”
While in the interview with Vanity Fair Najiani reflects on the difficulties of taking on the role of “the bad guy,” the actor said earlier this year that he’s interested in taking on more roles of the sort in the future.
“I kind of like playing sort of bad guys. It’s fun,” Nanjiani told PEOPLE at the Disney Upfronts in May. “You get to be like, ‘How would I decide that I want to do something bad to somebody?’ I love doing that, I want to play more bad guys.”
Welcome To Chippendales is set to premiere on Hulu later this year.