Aziz Ansari Cast His Real-Life Folks as His Parents in His Show Master of None Because 'There's Not a Ton of Older Indian People in the Acting Game'
The Parks and Recreation alum opens up about his new series
Aziz Ansari didn’t have to look too far when he set out to cast his character’s parents in his upcoming series Master of None.
“There’s not a ton of older Indian people that are out there in the acting game, so I wrote these characters kind of based on my parents, and I couldn’t find anyone who really felt like my parents, so I just got my parents to do it,” Ansari tells PEOPLE. “They did a fantastic job.”
In the show, Ansari plays an Indian-American actor, Dev, who navigates the ins and outs of life in New York as a thirtysomething.
PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the show, in which Ansari stars opposite Noël Wells, who plays his love interest.
While the Parks and Recreation alum played coy, wanting to save specific plot points for the series’ Nov. 6 debut on Netflix, he says he’s thrilled with his parents’ performance.
“It was definitely hard because they’d never acted before, and I think when you’re trying to get someone who’s a non-actor to do these things, the tricky part is teaching them to stop trying and to be very natural and not try to be funny,” Ansari says of prepping his parents, Shoukath and Fatima, for their parts.
“So it took a little bit to get that, but they picked up pretty fast. They were both really good,” he says, adding with a laugh: “It makes you realize how easy acting is.”