The name “Chippendales” signifies an image of chiseled men in tuxedo cuffs and collars, putting on a show that centers on amazing male figures. Looking deeper into the reality and the history of the brand, a more complicated picture emerges. Nowhere is this more notable than the story of the late Somen ‘Steve’ Banerjee, whose creation of the enterprise is the subject of one of Hulu’s entries in the 2022 TV schedule, Welcome to Chippendales.
Played by Kumail Nanjiani, the role of Banerjee operates as a cautionary tale that digs into the seedy history of Banerjee and the murders (successful and attempted) that he orchestrated as part of maintaining what he felt was his empire. As he spoke with our own Law Sharma as part of Hulu’s (opens in new tab) press day for Welcome to Chippendales, Nanjiani told CinemaBlend that he felt the following lessons are at the heart of this television drama:
It’s a story that meets your typical “rags to riches” criteria, which the series has already started to chronicle in its first two episodes. Seeing Somen Banerjee go from a gas station attendant with a dream to one of the people running what was a lucrative investment, the origins of this story are well established. However, even restricting your knowledge to what we know about Welcome to Chippendales so far, you can see where Kumail Nanjiani’s portrayal is about to go dark.
The insecurities of Somen Banerjee are already at the root of the story, so for the actor to grab hold of that inspiration was a given. That said, the results so far are impressive, as Somen’s story is going to go places that Kumail Nanjiani fans would probably not associate with his usual type of character. Which is something that the Eternals actor would probably be thankful to hear.
Ever eager to throw off the stereotype for playing the nerdy character, this could be a role that breaks Kumail even further away from that typecasting. It’s the kind of magic that actors love to chase, and the sort of opportunity that can receive some attention come awards nomination season. Though that good news isn’t limited to Kumail Nanjiani, as the entire Welcome to Chippendales cast could see that same good fortune visited upon them.
We’ll see where things go, as the eight-episode run of Welcome to Chippendales has just begun. The first two episodes are currently available, with new installments premiering every Tuesday. To catch this crime drama miniseries, you’ll need to have a Hulu subscription as your invitation to the party. Also, if you’re curious about what’s arriving on Hulu’s December 2022 new releases slate, that information is already available for your enjoyment.