Comedian Asim Chaudhry Talks ‘The Honeymoon,’ ‘Sandman’ and David Hasselhoff
From his YouTube comedy roots to star turns in People Just Do Nothing, Hoff the Record and Sandman, Asim Chaudhry has made a career of bringing laughs to screens of all sizes. The Honeymoon, the raunchy rom-com in which Chaudhry plays the worst kind of moronic best friend, opens December 16 in select theaters, on digital and on demand. Cracked recently spoke with Chaudhry about his new comedy, working on Sandman and spending quality time with David Hasselhoff.
First things first: The trailer for The Honeymoon really reminds us of the blockbuster buddy comedies of the 2000s.
That’s exactly what I thought when I agreed to do the project. It gave me real throwback comedy vibes to The Hangover and all these films that don’t take themselves too seriously but just want to have a laugh.
The Honeymoon is about a man, Adam (Pico Alexander), who marries his beautiful wife, Sarah (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm star and Oscar nominee Maria Bakalova). And I play Bav, who’s Adam’s very needy, very annoying, but also very funny best friend. They were friends during their teenage years and then Adam went away to America, so Bav’s always felt like Adam left him.
When I was talking to the writer/director, we both said that everyone has one of these mates who are absolute morons. You love them, and you cannot get rid of them. That’s why Adam and Bav are called ‘The Inseparables,’ whether that’s a gift or a curse.
So Adam thinks Bav’s in a really bad way. He feels like he needs to take this idiot on his honeymoon because he’s worried about him, about what he might do. Three people on a honeymoon, it’s ridiculous, and then they get involved with the mafia and hilarity ensues, essentially.
The locations look amazing. This feels like a big-screen comedy with all the set pieces.
I did a TV show in England called People Just Do Nothing and then we did a movie of that show set in Japan. And we were asked how do we make the comedy the same but on a bigger scale? And actually, all you do is keep that humor the same. The jokes have to be very funny, but you just make the situations bigger. You put in people with guns or you put them on a mountain or a bridge, but at the core of it, the joke needs to work.
What was it like working with an Academy Award-nominated costar?
Me and my wife are just obsessed with Maria. She’s an absolute dream, just so funny. You know, she was asking me for advice, and I said, “Maria, I know when I see naturally funny people. It’s in your bones, you just don’t need to overthink it.” Funny people know funny people, right? Maria is just very naturally funny.
Were you friends with the actors prior to filming?
The relationship between Bav and Adam is essential — it’s a buddy film, so if you don’t believe they’re buddies, there’s no film — so we had a few Zooms beforehand. Then on day one, it felt like we were actual friends, like we went to school together. We just hit it off on the first day, making each other crack up. That’s a great thing. If people are cracking up so much that you can’t even get the take, you know that’s a good sign. Laughing and messing up is being free.
You started out doing YouTube videos. How did that comedy journey begin?
It was after college. I had a camera, I was doing music videos, filming anything really to make some money. My friends had ideas for these characters for a mockumentary so we started filming, putting it up on YouTube. And that’s how we were discovered back in those early days when YouTube was more for like funny cat videos.
We made the mockumentary look so realistic that a lot of people thought it was real. They would get angry at us: “Oh you f***ing bums, get a job!” That was the greatest compliment.
You worked with David Hasselhoff on the TV series Hoff the Record.
The Hoff is amazing. We did two seasons, and I'm really proud of that show. One thing I’d say about the Hoff, and I say this with all due respect, is he’s not the greatest actor, he’s not the greatest singer, he's not the greatest anything really. But my God, that man has charisma. When he walks into a room, it’s the Hoff. I would say he’s arguably one of the most famous men to have ever lived. Even kids know David Hasselhoff. My mum knows who he is. My grandmother is an old Pakistani woman, she doesn’t know anyone. But she knows who David Hasselhoff is. It goes to show you that confidence and charisma can take you a long way.
He doesn’t seem to take himself very seriously.
To be very honest, a lot of the time he doesn’t know quite what’s going on.
Finally, congratulations on Season Two of Sandman. Will Cain and Abel be back?
It was an absolute honor and privilege to be involved with such a legendary saga. We just had so much fun doing it. We tried to keep it as real and as true to the comics as we could. Let’s hope for some more Cain and Abel, but you never know because there are so many stories yet to be told. I’m just happy to be part of it.