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'The Big Bang Theory' Star Kunal Nayyar Looks 'Totally Different' As A Killer In New Netflix Role

Rae Batchelor 16 Sep 2020

It's always surprising when we see someone so familiar to us in a totally new way, whether it's someone we know in real life or an actor we've gotten used to as a particular character! With a show like The Big Bang Theory that ran for so many years, it makes sense that we'd be a bit surprised to see the actors we loved in brand new roles.

The Big Bang Theory was a titan of a sitcom.

Giphy | CBS

The show ran for 12 seasons and is one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. The show followed four stereotypical nerds as they lived their lives, enjoyed their passions, and fell in love. It was also hilarious!

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Every character had their own signature look.

Instagram | @bigbangtheory

While Sheldon had his superhero emblems/logos on his shirts, Bernadette had dresses and tights, and Howard had his turtlenecks, every character was pretty much instantly recognizable based on how they dressed.

Including, of course, the dorky and sweet Raj.

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Raj Koothrappali was obviously one of the highlights of Big Bang.

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Raj, who was played by Kunal Nayyar, was beloved for his awkward charm and his initial (and pretty relatable) struggles with talking to women without a little liquid courage first.

That's probably why Kunal's newest role has lots of people talking.

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Kunal has revealed he'll be playing a hardened killer in Netflix's show Criminal.

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Kunal shared a trailer for the second season in which he plays a hardened criminal attempting to seek an early release by playing mind games with the detectives interrogating him. And it's clear that dorky and awkward Raj is nowhere to be found in this new character!

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“It was important to do something that completely breaks the barrier,” Kunal said of the role.

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“I wanted to make sure that whatever I did next was like, ‘Wait, who is this? Oh My God. Is that the guy from The Big Bang?!’, as opposed to ‘Oh there’s Raj, playing a killer,’" Kunal told Metro about playing his first big role since Big Bang ended.

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Kunal knew it would be difficult to change people's associations with him and Raj.

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"Physically, I’m so recognizable from my voice, I’m so recognizable from my face…" Kunal said. "I still have some mannerisms of Raj. Just as I have some mannerisms of this character," he continued.

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Fans are pretty excited to see Kunal in a brand new light!

"This looks totally different but amazing," one fan wrote in the comments, and we couldn't agree more!

Are you excited to see Kunal in a totally new role? You can watch the trailer and let us know how you feel right here!

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His performance as a cold-blooded criminal has already been praised by his co-stars.

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"Kunal, when he came in and did his work. I was like, 'Whoa, this guy’s incredible," revealed costar Shubham Saraf, who added that he didn't know what to expect of an actor he had only seen on a sitcom before.

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"The only thing you’ve seen him in before is so sort of, like so stereotypical, and brilliant in an American sitcom. A set piece comedy."

Instagram | @kunalkarmanayyar

"It was really good to be on the journey with him because he was, like, nervous about it and vulnerable, he was really open to us like helping him out and I was just really impressed with his work," Shubham continued.

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Fellow costar Rochenda Sandall also had praise for Kunal's transformation into a new character, saying that "even his look alone is vastly different."

Instagram | @kunalkarmanayyar

"He was saying to me, you know, he’d done [The Big Bang Theory] for 12 years. I think it’s a big commitment to be on an American sitcom, like you can’t really do anything else. So to see him play something so cold and psychotic, I could just really see him enjoying every single moment," she continued.

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We're so excited to see where Kunal takes this role!

Giphy | The Big Bang Theory

While we'll always love Raj, we're excited to see all that Kunal has to offer in terms of his acting chops and ability to play new and very different characters in his career post-Big Bang Theory.

Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!

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