Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar) wasn’t always treated the best by his friends on “The Big Bang Theory.” Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) looked down on his work in astrophysics, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) were quick to forget him when they began dating women, and the entire gang complained about his group activities, such as a scavenger hunt.
In real life, the dynamics are a bit different between Nayyar and his co-stars. On numerous occasions, they can be heard praising him. For example, Kaley Cuoco, the actress behind Penny, applauded him for landing such a massive sitcom role with little experience under his belt. In late 2020, she said on the “Anna Faris Is Unqualified” podcast, “I believe that was his first audition, [either his] first audition or first pilot audition. I remember talking to him going, ‘Don’t get used to that. That doesn’t happen!’ I couldn’t believe that.”
As for Parsons, he had a very positive first impression of Nayyar, unlike Sheldon of Raj. In a cast interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” after the series finale in 2019, Parsons said, “Kunal I thought was the most handsome man. I have a thing for brown hair, [and] brown eyes and he really checked off my boxes. And then later on I thought he was pretty talented too.”
Nayyar might get more love and respect than his persona on “The Big Bang Theory,” but that doesn’t mean the actor is immune from being roasted by his peers.
Kunal Nayyar’s co-stars made fun of his food passion, parking abilities, and more
During a cast interview on “Conan” in 2016, an entire segment was dedicated to the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” playfully ripping on Kunal Nayyar. Kicking things off was Simon Helberg, who made fun of how passionate Nayyar is about food while doing an impression of him: “Oh my god, dude, you’ve got to go to this place downtown. It’s so yum! I got this branzino — and like, they take this olive and they just like set it on fire and it explodes.”
Johnny Galecki shared another interesting, yet endearing, tidbit about Nayyar: “He’s the most consistently incorrect man I’ve ever met.” For example, when Galecki once called Kaley Cuoco to find out which restaurant they were all meeting at, she expressed confusion. Turns out, Nayyar informed everyone that this was Galecki’s favorite establishment, but in reality, he had never heard of it. Nayyar chimed in, “The trick is to say anything with conviction.”
As for Cuoco, she cursed Nayyar on a near-daily basis at Warner Bros. Studios, where he’d take over part of her parking spot with his BMW i8. Since the i8 has gull-wing doors, he wanted to ensure he had enough room to get in and out.
The four-plus-minute roast is all in good fun, and there are no hard feelings on Nayyar’s part. He regularly posts throwback photos with his old co-stars on Instagram and wishes them well on their new projects. Nayyar was last seen onscreen in the Apple TV+ series “Suspicion.”