In the new action comedy, Stuber, an unassuming Uber driver (Kumail Nanjiani) is forced to serve and protect Los Angeles from a vicious drug lord when a tough but oblivious cop (Dave Bautista) recovering from laser eye surgery hires him to drive him around for the night to crack the case. Are you hooked yet?
I met up with Nanjiani and Bautista at the National Geographic Museum’s special screening of the film back in May to discuss working together and finding this hilarious script. I also chatted with Nanjiani about the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones and his predictions on who would live and die in the Battle of Winterfell episode. Spolier Alert: We were both wrong.
Cortland Jacoby: First Off, how are your roles different than other roles you’ve previously had? Kumail you were more into like stand up comedy and Dave you’re an Avenger, so how was it coming to set with your different backgrounds?
Dave Bautista: It was a bit intimidating. It was kind of a whole new a learning curve from me, but it was something I was really interested in learning and I’m not afraid to put myself in that position, kind of, you know, be a student and be willing to learn. But, um, it was a little intimidating.
Kumail Nanjiani: Yeah. I’d never done an action movie. And so I honestly didn’t even understand that I should be intimidated because I’d never thought about what like “action acting” is until I was on set and I was like, “Oh, this is really hard and I have no idea how to do it!” But it was really, really fun and you know, Dave is so good at it. So I learned a lot watching him and I really want to do more of it.
D.B: I was excited to watch him kind of do it. I knew he was excited about it. He was getting worked up and it was Kinda cool just to witness that.
K.N: I was trying to just keep up with him and eat what he ate!
C.J: How was it working together? You guys have great chemistry. How was that feeding off each other’s energy?
D.B: It was great. It was easy. It was natural. Yeah.
K.N: Yeah, what was great was we both approach acting very differently and we’re playing very different characters, but we just worked really well together right off the bat. Before doing the movie, I was nervous of certain aspects of that, but never us together because we didn’t really know each other before shooting. We’d auditioned together, but I’d heard wonderful things about him through a mutual friend and I was a big fan of his, so I knew we were gonna work well together. I just didn’t realize how well it was gonna work. I mean, we just had the best time. Every take felt different in an interesting way. I had a great time.
C.J: What drew both of you guys to the project?
D.B: For me it was, it was the script and it was Kumail, you know? I was told about the project and told the premise of it. Then I was told that they wanted Kumail to play Stu. That’s what interested me right off the bat. Then when I read the script, I found myself laughing out loud, which is, you know, may not sound like a big deal.
C.J: That’s really important.
D.B: It is! When you’re reading a lot of scripts too, when you’re going through and when you find yourself actually engaged with one and really interested, that’s when you know you’re onto something special. So that’s all. I mean I think it was just descriptive. It’s funny and I knew I wanted to work with Kumail.
K.N: I mean I really wanted to work with Dave. I thought the script was very funny and I thought that there was an opportunity with this movie to, sort of in a very like fun pop cultural popcorn way, talk about certain things that I hadn’t seen talked about in movie very much. So I knew first and foremost it was gonna be a funny, fun movie. But then on top of that I was like, “Oh, this movie could actually be part of a conversation that’s important and Iget to work with Dave.”
C.J: I follow you on Twitter. I know you’re a big game of Thrones fan. Who do you think is going to die on Sunday and is your cat okay? I saw that you posted that she was a mess last episode.
K.N: I mean we were all a mess last episode. She’s inconsolable. I don’t know. I mean I think Jamie Lannister is going to die. I think Brienne of Tarth might die. There’s a good chance Arya Stark dies.
C.J: I think Gendry’s dead.
K.N: Yeah. I mean they had sex so…Let’s kill them off, right? We could lose like five major characters tomorrow. I’m seeing it in a theater. I’m very excited.
C.J: I’m so jealous.
Stuber is in theaters this Friday