Even if you’ve never seen a CBS hit comedy ghost, it is quite possible that you know Utkarsh Ambudkar. The actor and rapper is best known for his big break as one of the Treblemakers. pitch perfect As Mindy Kaling’s younger brother mindy project. But playing Jay Arondeker (Rose McIver’s Sam’s invisible husband who can see the spirits that live inside the hotel) is his greatest achievement to date, keeping him busy for long periods of time. It is a job that should continue. Here, the Maryland native talks about how he got into rapping and acting, and what it’s like to play a guy who can’t be intimidated by his creepy roommate.
Deadline: What happened when you grew up in Baltimore that made you want to dedicate your life to acting and rapping?
Utkarsh Ambudkar: I wasn’t a tough kid, so I didn’t try to scare people around me. I think being South Asian in Maryland in the 80’s was still a very new ethnicity to America. So many people didn’t know what we were. I had to find a way to blend in with my surroundings. One of the ways I did that was by entertaining my friends. My hobby was to make my family laugh at home, and my father and mother were very interested in pop culture. We had all the records and we watched a lot of Bollywood movies. It’s very overkill, but beautifully made. I was the only child who made a song on the spot, sang it, and made everyone laugh. And when I was 9 or 10, we all sneaked out and drank a new Dr. Dre record, a new Dr. I was listening to what was going on. I feel like I gained confidence and joy at Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland. I could go on stage and play a Shakespearean play and start improvising. No professor would have yelled at me if I had started adding monologues on stage. I used to do it often because I would get carried away in the moment. had a ball I will be very excited about it and I think the audience will love it.
Deadline: How was your study at New York University?
ambudkar: To be honest, they still didn’t quite know what to do with the Indians. They were very like, “Yes, you could play the part of the Prince.” I remember one teacher. I won’t say his name because he passed away, but he was a great teacher. But the only thing he really gave me was that my dark skin looks great in the light. I started taking rap and freestyle seriously. I felt like it was a place where I could embody everything I wanted to be. Maybe I’m in the minority, South Asian. It can be cool, it can be vulnerable, it can be political. And in New York City, every Monday and Wednesday night I go to an open mic in the East Village. On top of that, I could get into any cypher. It’s just like a group of guys rapping on a street corner.
Deadline: What was your first job?
ambudkar: My first real job was as an assistant director of a play at DC’s Hip Hop Theater Festival, scripted by Chadwick Boseman. He was such a wonderful man. The Hip-Hop Theater Festival was just money-poor guys doing comedy rap. Little did he know that he would walk into a room with Tommy Kyle, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Christopher Jackson. How many Tony Awards, Grammy Awards, Oscar nominations and Emmy Awards included in that group! So we all just stayed together. Participated in Freestyle Love Supreme [the improvisational hip-hop group formed by Miranda and Anthony Veneziale]And it reminded me of when we were playing a show at some festival in Seattle. Then I got a call from a new Gersh agent. pitch perfect. I ended up being featured as a vocalist on every song, which is pretty cool for his first or second movie.Then Mindy Kaling sees pitch perfect “Oh, I have an idea for the Rapp brothers.” surprised. So Mindy introduced me to TV.
Deadline: Is there anything in the last 20 years that you wish you had gotten more attention for?
ambudkar: I think it’s a really good work, so I want more people to see it. Brittany running a marathon [in which he played Brittany’s boyfriend, Jern]. It’s a very comfortable movie. And star Jillian Bell is very funny. she is my favorite We’ve worked on four of her movies together so far and working with her is always the best.the way people react ghostI think the same person will be pleased Brittany running a marathon.
Deadline: Do you remember when? ghost did it start? Were you pulsing with anxiety about this show working because it’s so hard to get comedy on the air right now?
ambudkar: i don’t think so.To be honest, like when we did pitch perfect, really, really knew something good was going on, and the people watching it knew it was going to be good. When I saw Rebel Wilson and Adam Devine and heard the music, without a doubt, I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to work. ghost is the same. You look at Rebecca Wisocki, Brandon Scott Jones, and Devan Chandler Long and you think, “Oh!” “Wow, you’re here,” was almost immediately accepted. The show was a success and they were good and found their ground. I am married and have two children with her, and she is expecting another. My priorities are different.
Deadline: The writers could have made your character, who runs a bed and breakfast with his wife Sam, an infidel when it comes to ghosts. But they didn’t.
ambudkar: What if the character doesn’t believe his wife? Now he accompanies or advances the adventure. Jay is kind of a glue guy. I’m there to promote ghost stories and Sam’s stories as much as I can and be a window into this world for the audience.
Deadline: So, Season 2 ends with this very fun cliffhanger.Jay and Sam see light leaking out of the mansion and suspect someone will be sucked out. [Ghost-speak for a soul finally moving to the next dimension]. Does that mean it’s time to cull the ghosts? ghost?
ambudkar: I hope that won’t happen. Every time I lose a character it feels like I’m losing a member of my family. As a fan, I don’t want that to happen. I don’t know who is being deceived. I really hope it’s not one of our major ghosts.
Deadline: Tell us about Disney+ movies best in the world. what is that?
ambudkar: It’s about a boy named Prem [newcomer Manny Magnus], is a math wizard. But he doesn’t want to be because he’s been the outcast at school.He finds out that his late father was a world-famous rapper, he wants to change his identity, and his father [played by Ambudkar] begins visiting him as an imaginary friend and teaching him how to become this great rapper. He needs to realize that changing his entire identity may not be the best course of action. It’s a family growth story. I am really proud.
Deadline: You’ve had a fascinating career. Do you feel that way?
ambudkar: My mistake was big. Lin-Manuel originally wrote the role of Aaron Burr with me in mind. Hamilton. And I played that part in the first iteration. I’ve been sober for eight and a half years now, and my sobriety, or lack of sobriety, at the time—I quit. Lynn put it in my hand and I let it go. [Ambudkar was replaced by Leslie Odom Jr.]. So I know what I have. Charmed? When you look at it that way, I think it’s attractive. They didn’t kick me over the curb. They loved me enough until I learned to love myself. It’s really special.
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