June 30, 2020
“Little America” is a new Apple TV+ anthology series that dramatizes true stories of immigrants across the country. Join the executive producers and writers Lee Eisenberg, Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon for a conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart.
Little America Executive Producer Kumail Nanjiani stars with Issa Rae in the new film Lovebirds. He says that it is “still an anomaly” to see two non-white actors as leads in a Hollywood movie, but progress is being made. “We have made some strides…I don’t think you would have seen a movie with a Pakistani guy and a black woman as the leads in a movie five years ago.”
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Little America Executive Producers Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani and Lee Eisenberg talked about their favorite episodes of the Apple+ TV series and the experience of crying after seeing early cuts of specific scenes and episodes.
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Little America Executive Producers Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani and Lee Eisenberg say that they are optimistic about the future of the country and its reckoning with racial injustice and inequality. “We’re in an era where a certain group of people has defined what American is in a very narrow way…I’m just seeing people who had not been awakened to sort of the racial issues in this country…I’m seeing a lot more people becoming aware of them just in the last few weeks,” Nanjiani said.
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Lee Eisenberg
Showrunner, Executive Producer and Writer of “Little America”
Lee Eisenberg is a Writers Guild Award winner and six-time Emmy nominee. Eisenberg worked on the staff of the NBC comedy series, "The Office," for five seasons, rising to co-head writer. Since then, Eisenberg has executive produced the Golden-Globe Nominated series, “SMILF," and the Emmy-nominated HBO series, "Hello Ladies," which he co-created and wrote alongside Gene Stupnitsky and Stephen Merchant. On the feature side, he made his film debut in 2009 when he co-wrote the screenplay for "Year One" with Stupnitsky and Harold Ramis, and later went on to write and produce 2011’s "Bad Teacher," starring Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. He made his feature directorial debut with his original screenplay, "Good Boys," co-written with Stupnitsky, and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. He’s currently working on Season 2 of "Little America" for Apple TV+, which he co-created with Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.
Kumail Nanjiani
Writer and Executive Producer of “Little America”
Kumail Nanjiani is an Oscar-nominated writer and critically acclaimed actor and comedian. Nanjiani can recently be seen starring in the Sony film “MIB”opposite Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rafe Spall, Emma Thompson and Rebecca Ferguson, as well as the 20thCentury Fox film “Stuber,” opposite Dave Bautista. He recently completed filming Paramount’s “The Lovebirds” opposite Issa Rae and directed by Michael Showalter. On the television side, Nanjiani played ‘Dinesh’ on the Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley.” Over the years, the series has won two Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Comedy Series and been named one of the AFI’s TV Programs of the Year. Recently, he and his wife, Emily V. Gordon received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for “The Big Sick,” in which Nanjiani starred alongside Holly Hunter, Zoe Kazan and Ray Romano. The film was named one of the AFI’s Top Films of the Year and won the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Comedy, the Hollywood Film Award for Comedy Ensemble of the Year and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
Emily V. Gordon
Writer and Executive Producer of “Little America”
Academy Award-nominated writer Emily V. Gordon co-wrote Amazon’s hit film “The Big Sick” for which she was nominated for an Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” and won “Best First Screenplay” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. She also has a number of projects in development with various partners in both film and television, including “The Untitled Sarah Hyland + Emily Gordon Project”, a multi-camera comedy inspired by both of their real-life experiences, which has landed at ABC with a put pilot commitment. Gordon has written for shows including “The Carmichael Show,” “Another Period” and “Crashing,” as well as creating and producing three seasons of “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail” for Comedy Central.
Jonathan Capehart
Opinions Writer, The Washington Post
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