The NBC comedy “Outsourced” has spent the season firmly entrenched in the network’s Thursday night line-up. And while the vets like “30 Rock,” “Community,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office” have been renewed, “Outsourced” is still holding out for word on season two. While they await their fate, cast members Rizwan Manji and Parvesh Cheena talked about their characters and their influences in a recent conference call interview.
On the show Rizwan plays Rajiv Gidwani, the manager (in name only) at Mid America Novelties who makes no qualms about wanting to climb the ladder. Parvesh plays his office associate, the annoying but somehow endearing Gupta.
Parvesh Cheena is ‘Outsourced’s’ practical joker
Parvesh admitted that he’s the practical joker on the set and is always pulling gags on his fellow actors, especially Rizwan. He divulged, “Unfortunately Rizwan has been the brunt of many of my pranks… Riz tends to fall asleep during filming because we generally have 14-hour days… When you’re with people five days a week for that long of time you start to get a little silly. And so Rizwan falls asleep and our favorite pastime is to see how many people we can get behind him and take photos and videos of him.”
Rizwan interjected sarcastically, “The most fun you could ever have. And taking videos of up my nostrils, which I think it’s really great. It’s up on Hulu, so that’s always wonderful to see.”
Parvesh continued, “We have a good time. We’re a family… You have to tease your family. You tease the ones that you’re closest to.”
The ‘Outsourced’ cast bonds off camera
This on-set family spends a lot of time together off camera as well. In fact they claimed the chemistry was instant. Parvesh noted, “A lot of us had worked together before. And then Riz and I have known each other for years. Primarily because you become audition friends.”
Rizwan described an event early on that bonded the cast, “We had a couple of weeks once we had gotten cast in the show to when we actually started shooting, with rehearsals with everybody getting together. And one of our Executive Producers, Ken Kwapis, sent us out on a karaoke day where we spent the whole day at a karaoke place. I think we just hit it off right away… We’re really good friends and we hang out on the weekends as well.”
Parvesh explained that the cast watches most of the show together every Thursday night. “We watch them together as a cast… A lot of our friends, family, whenever they come to town they come and join us.” He said this past week they all watched “Todd’s Holi War” at director Victor Nelli’s house. He added, “We’ve done that every week. I think we might be helping Anisha move tomorrow and we just always go out to eat, have a drink, everything.”
But the actors professed that the real fun begins on set. Parvesh talked about the episode called “A Star Is Born” in which Gupta tries out for a local talent show. He reflected, “In the states we all have this idea, everyone who wants to be the next best singer, next best dancer. Those same wants and desires are in India, too. So the great thing about that episode for me, let alone getting to make my whole family proud and cry and squeal with delight [over] the fact that I did do a full Bollywood dance number, was the fact that we can show that the same wants and dreams are universal.”
To read ore of our interview with Rizwan and Parvesh visit Pop Culture Passionistas.
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