I Had No Idea This Oscar Nominee Was From Iowa
One of the best moments from Sunday's Academy Awards was one that most people probably missed. Lupita Nyong'o & Kumail Nanjiani were presenting the Oscar for Best Production Design. Probably not that riveting--unless, of course, you're a production designer--until Nanjiani revealed an intimate detail about his life...he's from Iowa.
Kumail was born in Pakistan, but his life and career didn't take shape until moving to Iowa in the mid '90s. Nanjiani majored in computer science and philosophy at Grinnell College, graduating in 2001. According to an interview with Vanity Fair, he had been to the U.S. only once before enrolling and thought small-town Iowa would be a gentle introduction to American life. It's also where he was introduced to stand-up comedy.
Najiani returned to Grinnell last May to deliver the commencement speech. "Before America was my home, Iowa was my home," Nanjiani said during the ceremony.
You can watch Kumail pay tribute to his adopted home (while taking a slight dig at Hollywood elites) below:
Nanjiani was among those nominated for Best Original Screenplay--he co-wrote "The Big Sick" with his wife Emily Gordon, and the film is based on their relationship.