Is Aasif Mandvi still at “The Daily Show”? The actor, performer and writer, born in Mumbai, made his name as one of their correspondents, often focusing on race and diversity. He hasn’t been on the show since Trevor Noah took over. “Technically I still work there,” Mandvi tells us. He says he’s in the same spot as John Hodgman or Lewis Black. “If there’s something I really want to pitch them, I’ll do it. But I’m not officially on staff anymore.”
One reason: He’s been busy. Now bi-coastal, Mandvi spends a lot of time in Los Angeles and less in New York, having worked on HBO’s short-lived “The Brink” as well as pitching “Halal in the Family,” a sitcom starring a Muslim-American family that originated as a webseries last year, and which he wants to turn into a prime time show. He also pops up in “Mother’s Day,” director Garry Marshall’s latest holiday ensemble comedy (after “Valentine’s Day” and “New Year’s Eve”). That might sounds like light fun, but his subplot has edge to it: He plays the husband of Kate Hudson, who hasn’t told her Red State parents she’s in an interracial marriage.
Perhaps moviegoers might not expect a movie like “Mother’s Day” to say something about our current culture war.
When I read the script, one of the things that appealed to me was there was an interracial marriage, which you never see in big Hollywood rom-coms. Obviously it’s a comedy, and we had limited real estate in terms of the other stories. This movie’s not going to explore these issues in any real way. It’s a family film that makes you feel good. Ultimately, you’re always going to come away from a rom-com with everything working out.
Still, even a film that just touches on it has a way of subtly affecting the culture.
I think that’s true. You have huge stars in this film, you’ve got Garry Marshall. This movie isn’t going to change the world, but hopefully even the storyline about the interracial marriage makes you think about it. It makes you think about it a little bit.
Looking over your CV I noticed you’ve played a lot of doctors, and even a dentist at least once.
Now you’re understanding what it’s like to be a brown actor in Hollywood. I started off playing cab drivers, then went up to doctors and dentists, with the occasional terrorist. That’s the trajectory. And now I’m Kate Hudson’s husband. So not too bad.