Though he's currently receiving support from colleagues after his film The Big Sick was snubbed by the Golden Globes, he decided to lend his support to Lucasfilm's newest helmer.
Nanjiani revealed a story on Twitter in which he was giving red carpet interviews at San Diego Comic-Con in 2012, a job he admits he wasn't very good at. But it was his experience speaking with Johnson in promotion of the film Looper that offers some insight into the director's friendly nature.
I know y'all don't need another reason to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but I'm gonna give you one more. This is a story about its director, [Rian Johnson], & why he's awesome. In 2012, before Silicon Valley, I got a job doing interviews on the red carpet at Comic Con.
I'd never done red carpet interviews before, but it was decent money & it would give me a way to go to Comic Con. The job turned out to be very tough. I was running from red carpet to red carpet, interviewing people who were sometimes rude, sometimes fine, always disinterested.
Btw, I completely get the disinterested part. They'd been doing press all day & I was 1 of like a 100 interviews they had that day. I get it. The job was tough cuz sometimes I'd only get 40 secs w someone & had to give my producers something usable, otherwise it was a total bust.
1 person, who shall go unnamed, was so rude to me & made me feel so stupid that I got a talking to from my producer (I totally get the prod being upset btw.) I wasn't able to get anything usable cuz he just mocked me, dismissed me, walked away. I bet he doesn't remember. I do.
After that awful encounter, we run across to the red carpet for Looper/Total Recall. Still upset by the encounter. They hand me the list of ppl walking down the carpet that I'll be interviewing. After a couple of people, Rian walks up. I love his work, I'm a huge fan of his.
But, in the moment, I say "Can't wait to see the remake of Total Recall you're directing." I know Looper. I'm excited for it. I know his work. It was just 1 of those stupid brain things. He says "I wish! I did Looper." I'm mortified. My ears turn hot, my producer gives me a look.
I'm like "Dammit. I messed up another interview & look like a fool in front of someone I'm a huge fan of." But, instead of being upset, he started laughing. Not in an "at me" way. In a "with me" way. He saw how upset I was, put his hand on my shoulder, laughing.
He truly went out of his way to make me feel ok, to make me not feel like a loser. He didn't have to. He could have just been cold after that, not made such an attempt to lift me up. I would have understood. He doesn't know me from Adam. But he helped someone in crises just cuz.
t truly meant so much to me in that moment, on that specific day. Especially right after someone w a millionth of his talent had dressed me down for no reason. I got the interview, finished out the worst Comic Con I've ever had & went home.
Nanjiani went on to talk about meeting Johnson years later where the two had a laugh over the incident, recalling that Johnson said "Those days can get tiring so it was great to have a real moment [with] someone."
Johnson followed up Nanjiani's story with a tweet of his own:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi premieres in theaters this Friday, December 15.