Kumail Nanjiani may be terrified of social media, but he’s still very good at it. We’ve seen the comedian and actor use it to share stories both horrific and heartwarming, and while the tales themselves have been compelling on their own, what really elevates them is the clear sense of wonder and humility Nanjiani is always able to convey, even as he’s seen his profile rise considerably over the years. He never feels like a celebrity in these stories, but rather like an excited kid for whom Hollywood is still a strange and queasy place. Really, it’s the same kind of amiability that helped his The Big Sick worm its way into so many of our hearts.
His latest tweet spree falls into the heartwarming category, with Nanjiani telling a revealing, humanizing story about one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson. It’s easy to imagine any higher-up in the studio system being a soulless monster, especially in 2017. But Nanjiani’s story here at least shows us that the guy not only still has a soul, but he has one capable of summoning kindness even during the most tiring of press junkets.
Here’s the jist: Nanjiani was working as a red carpet interviewer at the 2012 San Diego Comic Con, a job he describes as “very tough” and filled with “disinterested” people. He also notes that he wasn’t particularly good at the gig, and that one rude celeb upset him so much that he began making some pretty big mistakes, such as telling Johnson that he couldn’t wait to see the director’s Total Recall remake. Johnson, unfortunately, didn’t direct that. He could’ve been a dick about it, too—Nanjiani insinuates that most of the people he encountered probably would’ve been—but instead he gave Nanjiani this lovely story.
“You can tell a lot about someone by how they are to ppl they don’t have to be nice to,” he concludes. It’s easy to forget the importance of kindness, whether it be a grand gesture or a small, seemingly insignificant token of emotional generosity.
Now go read our The Last Jedi review.