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The Reason Steve Bannerjee Took Such Drastic Measures According To Welcome To Chippendales' Kumail Nanjiani - Exclusive

"Welcome to Chippendales," Hulu's excellent new drama series, stars "Eternals" favorite Kumail Nanjiani as the male review dancing empire's founder Somen "Steve" Banerjee. Banerjee is a hard-working immigrant, continually adapting his projects until he lands on the ultimate formula for success ... one that involves muscular men and a lot of oil. 

He brings on Nick De Noia (Murray Bartlett) to evolve the company's choreography and production value, leading to a battle of wills that builds to a tragic crescendo as the series progresses. De Noia's work brings great success to the growing Chippendales empire, but that very success ironically increases Banerjee's paranoia amidst the feeling that he's losing control of his own company.

While the drastic measures he undertakes may seem like they come from nowhere, star Nanjiani explains in an exclusive interview with Looper that the founder's response to De Noia isn't as far afield as it may seem. His response escalates to such a fever pitch, Nanjiani notes, because it comes from a deeper set of insecurities that the choreographer can't help but accidentally shine a light on. In other words, it's a tragic collision between two egos that pushes one beyond the brink in a fascinating way. 

De Noia is everything Banerjee wanted to be but couldn't

As "Welcome to Chippendales" proceeds, Steve Banerjee is pushed to lengths that, to speak plainly but without direct spoilers, prove truly dangerous to major players in the Chippendales organization. In the interview, Nanjiani is asked to explain what is it about Nick that gets so far under Banerjee's skin that he'd undertake such drastic measures. In short, "Nick is everything he knows he can never be," Nanjiani said.  

It isn't merely one simple aspect or trait, but rather De Noia exemplifies a number of traits that Banerjee wishes he had. "Nick is very creative; Steve is not," Nanjiani explains. "Nick is very good with people; Steve is not. Nick is very charismatic. He owns a room. Steve cannot do that." Steve Banerjee can't match De Noia in any aspect of the attributes that evolve the show or bring in new business opportunities. 

What's worse for Steve, Nanjiani explains further, is that Banerjee isn't comfortable with his own libidinous self, an ironic limitation for the founder of a world-famous male revue. "Nick loves himself; Steve hates himself," Nanjiani clarifies. "Nick is very in touch with his body and his sexuality, and Steve is very cut off from everything under his neck." While Banerjee wants the company to succeed because, frankly, there's a lot of money to be had, he doesn't have the capacities needed to make it work on his own ... capacities that De Noia has in spades.

A tragedy that makes for highly watchable drama

Nanjiani further elaborated, saying "What he hates about Nick is that he can never be him. Nick has an ease and a belief in himself that Steve does not have and is never going to have, so that is the source of the conflict." What brings all that difference to a head in the series is that, while they may be "opposite people" in so many ways, the "thing they share in common is that they're both extremely ambitious." 

It's an unfortunate commonality here that makes the pair each want to be top dog in a world that has room for only one, and thus "that's the thing that makes it so that they'll never be okay with each other," Nanjiani said. Ultimately, while De Noia's differences from Banerjee fuel the latter's building animosity, it's that one tragic similarity that keeps the pair from being able to peacefully complement each other towards a mutual good instead of competing towards inevitable tragedy. Nonetheless, that tragedy that makes for highly watchable drama.

"Welcome to Chippendales" is now available on Hulu.