There’s no “magic” at Chippendales. Instead, it’s just jealousy, murder, and unsolved mysteries at the heart of the shockingly sinister true crime story behind iconic male exotic dance troupe Chippendales.
Kumail Nanjiani transforms into Chippendales founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee for Hulu series “Welcome to Chippendales,” streaming November 22. Created by Robert Seigel (“The Wrestler”) and Jenni Konner (“Girls”), “Welcome to Chippendales” shows Somen’s rise and fall in the adult entertainment industry. Matt Shakman directs the series, with Nanjiani, his wife Emily V. Gordon, co-showrunner and writer Siegel, co-showrunner Konner, and writer Rajiv Joseph among the executive producers.
Per the official synopsis, the sprawling true crime saga “Welcome to Chippendales” tells the outrageous true story of Somen “Steve” Banerjee, an Indian immigrant who became the unlikely founder of the world’s greatest male-stripping empire, and let nothing stand in his way in the process.
Nicola Peltz Beckham stars as Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten, who was tragically murdered by her husband Paul Snider (Dan Stevens), with “The White Lotus” breakout Murray Bartlett playing Emmy-winning choreographer Nick De Noia. The ensemble cast also includes Philip Shahbaz, Annaleigh Ashford, Robin de Jesús, and “Yellowjackets” legendary star Juliette Lewis.
Lead star Nanjiani called the limited series the “most challenging job I’ve ever done” in an interview with Vanity Fair, adding that he started having back pain living as Somen. “The body doesn’t know the difference between you doing a sad scene and you being really sad in real life,” Nanjiani said of his not-quite-method acting process. “I’d never done this kind of work.”
Writer and co-showrunner Siegel said that Nanjiani was “always my first choice” despite the “Eternals” acting being “a little reluctant, or maybe nervous, about playing a bad guy.”
Siegel summed up, “He does bad things. You could say, well, this is a negative portrayal of an Indian guy, but you could also choose to look at it like it subverts the stereotype of the model minority.”
“Welcome to Chippendales” premieres November 22 on Hulu.
Check out the trailer below.