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Migration Actor Kumail Nanjiani's Lengthy Career Explained

Comedian, actor, writer and producer Kumail Nanjiani stars as the voice of Mack in Illumination's Migration

By Shameika Rhymes

This holiday season will find some family ducks on the move. Opening in theaters everywhere this December, the film, Migration, is about the Mallard family of ducks convincing their overprotective father to go on the vacation of a lifetime as they migrate from New England, through New York City, and ultimately down to the Bahamas. 

Actor Kumail Nanjiani stars in the upcoming film as the anxious, homebody duck dad, Mack, alongside Elizabeth Banks, the quick-witted matriarch of the family. Nanjiani may look familiar, and that’s because he has starred in a few other productions that you may be familiar with. Here’s where you may have seen him. 

Kumail Nanjiani is a Comedian

Kumail Nanjiani,wearing a burgundy top, smiling and posing for the camera

Nanjiani is a fan of Hugh Grant. He decided to start a stand-up career after being impressed by Grant's performance in Four Weddings and a Funeral, as he once told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. He eventually moved from Chicago to New York and continued to perform stand-up and made appearances on shows like The Colbert Report. He has also had a Comedy Central special called Beta Male that aired in 2013.

He’s is A Part of the Marvel Universe

Kumail Nanjiani wearing a peach blazer and posing at the premiere of Marvel Studios Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Nanjiani played Kingo in 2021’s Marvel film Eternals. He received widespread attention after sharing photos of his physical transformation during the shooting of the film in 2019.

What Else Has Kumail Nanjiani Starred In?

Kumail Nanjiani wearing a black blazer and smiling on the red carpet.

Nanjiani has had several guest starring and recurring roles in shows like VeepNewsreadersBroad City, and Adventure Time. He is well known for his role as Dinesh in the HBO comedy Silicon Valley. In 2017, Nanjiani starred in the romantic comedy film The Big Sick, which he co-wrote with his wife, Emily Gordon. The film is about their relationship and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Overall, the film received 15 major nominations in 2018 and won three awards. They went on to produce the AppleTV+ series Little America.

In 2019, Nanjiani headlined the first episode of the CBS All Access revival of The Twilight Zone, and he received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. In 2020, he starred with Issa Rae in the Netflix rom-com The LoveBirds

He’s done some voice acting as the alien Pawny in Men in Black International, and as Plimpton the ostrich, in the film Dolittle (streaming on Peacock). 

In March 2021, Nanjiani was announced as cast in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+. He also starred in the Hulu miniseries, Welcome to Chippendales, a rare dramatic beat for the actor. Earlier this year, it was confirmed that Nanjiani joined the cast of the upcoming Ghostbusters film. 

Migration officially heads for warmer climates on Friday, December 22 only in theaters.

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