24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Aziz Ansari

Comedian Aziz Ansari on which movie cracked him up this year

November 29, 2011 |  3:46 pm

Aziz Ansari
Although comedian and actor Aziz Ansari's popular blog is titled Aziz Is Bored, it seems unlikely he has much time for boredom these days. Earlier this year Ansari starred in the buddy bank robbery comedy "30 Minutes or Less" with Jesse Eisenberg, and he's a fixture on the small screen, playing Tom Haverford, a cocky government drone with big entrepreneurial dreams, on the NBC series "Parks and Recreation." He also performs stand-up and delivers a never-ending stream of funny tweets.

Occasionally, Ansari even finds himself on the receiving end of some good comedy. He recently told 24 Frames which movie had him laughing this year:

" 'Bridesmaids' was great. Kristen [Wiig] was incredible in that, showing such a range of attitudes. She's doing pretty well for herself. I remember when the movie first came out there were all those articles saying,  'It's your responsibility to go see "Bridesmaids" so there can be more female-centric comedies.' I wanted to write a joke that, what, it's everyone's responsibility to go see 'Fast Five' so there can be more movies with fast cars in them?"

Wiig also co-wrote the film, a likely contender for a Golden Globe nomination, in which she plays a maid of honor leading a colorful crew of bridesmaids on a wild ride. Like Ansari, Wiig is well known for her role on a comedy series, in her case "Saturday Night Live." Down the line, she will reunite with many of her "Bridesmaids" cast mates, including John Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd, in the parenthood dramedy "Friends With Kids" (a release date has not been set).

What did you think of Wiig in "Bridesmaids," and what other comedies impressed you this year? And just what will it take to get more movies with fast cars in them? Let us know in the comments below.

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— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Comedian and actor Aziz Ansari. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times


Will 'A Prophet' sweep the 2010 MTV Movie Awards?

May 12, 2010 |  4:06 pm

Aziz The MTV Movie Awards have always been more about spectacle and  send-ups than the films that the show putatively honors: One of the most-talked about moments last year was when comedian Sacha Baron Cohen "accidentally" fell from the rafters, his exposed backside landing on rapper Eminem's face.

The show's love of celebrity stunts  as well as its commercial impulses (call it the anti-Oscars) are something that is hardly lost on this year's host, Aziz Ansari. To familiarize himself with the audience who voted for "The Hangover," "Avatar" and "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" as last year's greatest film fare, he took on the task of watching all the films in the popular vampire franchise -- and live-tweeting the endeavor.

"I'm trying to really become one with the audience, so I just put a poster of Robert Pattinson up on my ceiling to get into the head of the audience," he joked on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. "I haven't been writing any jokes or filming shorts. I've just been looking at the poster and hopefully that will get me ready for June 6."

Next month at Hollywood's Gibson Amphitheatre, Ansari -- who will appear in the upcoming Russell Brand comedy "Get Him to the Greek" -- also kidded that his goal was to "maybe touch Robert Pattinson's hair" or "get a photo with Taylor Lautner's abs."

But though the actor said he grew up watching popular films like "Jurassic Park" and "Die Hard," his taste actually now leans more towards art-house films. When asked what movie he was rooting for at this year's show, he answered: "Did this French movie called 'A Prophet' get nominated? I gotta look at the nominations. I'm sure that's got a lot of competition."

And what will he talk about in his monologues during the program?

"I am going to talk mainly about that Banksy documentary 'Exit Through the Gift Shop,' " he deadpanned. "I hope that's relevant to the audience -- it is, right?"

It's clear Ansari is realistic about the importance of the show he'll host. When one journalist asked if the awards actually mattered, Ansari replied: "Oh, they do, man. Wait until you see what happens after someone wins the best global superstar award. Their career is really going to take off."

Check out the full list of nominations here.

-- Amy Kaufman (Twitter.com/AmyKinLA)

Photo: Comedian Aziz Ansari will host the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.


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Is Aziz Ansari ready for the big time?

March 21, 2010 |  6:47 pm

Aziz
Our colleague Denise Martin at Show Tracker has the scoop that actor-comedian Aziz Ansari will be hosting the MTV Movie Awards in June. Film fans know how little the actual awards, which are mostly an excuse to pump the latest MTV-friendly franchises, actually matter in any real sense. But landing the host spot can mean something, especially when it's a younger name doing the landing. A gig can signal or even fuel a career spurt.

In 2005, Jimmy Fallon hosted the MTV Movie Awards. It wasn't a great showing, but it was a key part of the run, both during and after "Saturday Night Live," that culminated in his nabbing Conan's late-night slot a few years later.

Three years back Sarah Silverman was starting to gain momentum when she landed the spot, and while she hasn't been a big deal in the film world, she's made a solid career for herself with "The Sarah Silverman Program" and a certain late-night viral-video bit.

Can Ansari ride the same train? He's already coming off a trio of strong character turns in "Observe and Report," "Funny People," and "I Love You, Man" last year. The television series "Parks & Recreation" has kept him in the limelight (as has his "sensual evening" video, as a billboard in our neighborhood insists on reminding us). And judging by the early word, he'll be getting good notices from his turn opposite Jonah Hill and Russell Brand (another host favored by MTV) in "Get Him to the Greek" this summer.

Last year's host, Andy Samberg, hasn't quite seen his star shoot up since presiding over the teen and post-adolescent love fest. Ansari, with his brand of sometimes-aggro, sometimes-dorky multicultural spoofing should fare a little better.

-- Steven Zeitchik

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Photo: Aziz Ansari in "Funny People." Credit: Universal Pictures



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