Aziz Ansari has created a breakthrough success with Master of None, his Netflix show that centers around the life of 30-year-old commercial actor Dev. Confronted with big questions, from love to friendship and family, Dev contemplates life and relationships as he goes about it.

The show has received high praise for providing a contemporary and well-rounded view on male identity and life in the big city. We caught up with the comedian and actor to talk about his much-hyped show.

There are a couple of big themes in Master of None; food, friends, family, the intercultural experience. Fashion is not an apparent one, but you mentioned in your interview for MR PORTER that it was a little difficult to dress Dev. He's an aspiring actor, but you wanted his taste to be close to yours, which you said is an expensive one...

Well, Dev is not a struggling actor. We wanted the character to be okay money-wise, so that we don’t have to show him working all the time. I based the character a little bit on a friend of mine that was a commercial actor, and he was doing well financially. I don’t think fashion is a big theme of the show. Each episode has a different theme and each theme is pretty important to me.

Everybody’s a fan of the music in the show, it was so well picked. What was the process like?

I worked on the music really closely with this guy, Zach Cowie. It was something we were very specific about, even the music that was in the deep background. There was even some French stuff, like the Serge Gainsbourg song, that’s one of my favorites. I’m glad that people responded to the music of the show because we put a lot of thought into it.

In your piece for the NYT you talk about how disappointed you were to find out that the Indian character in “Short Circuit 2" was played by Fisher Stevens, a white actor. How do you feel about you being a role model to some Indian kid right now?

That’s pretty crazy. I did this event with Mindy Kaling the other day and we were talking about this specifically.

In the montage we did in the beginning for Master of None, we show all the stereotypes around Indian people. When we were growing up, there were no people on TV that were well-rounded. People often think about ethnic people when it’s in ethnic roles. I was talking to a friend of mine that’s Asian about this and we remembered the second Ninja Turtles movie, the one from the '90s. There’s this scene in the beginning with this kid, an Asian pizza delivery guy that beats up all the bad dudes. It was a big moment for him, because for once, there was an Asian kid doing something cool, not just being a nerd.

I think those representations make a difference because, if every Indian guy you see on TV is running a convenient store, that’s a stereotype you apply in real life.

Diversity is a prevalent topic on the show. Dev’s group of friends is very diverse whether intentional or not. How was that accomplished?

All the roles on the show were openly casted, aside from my parents. We didn’t cast a black lesbian actor for the role of my best friend. We didn’t want to fill a quota. It just so happened that the funniest person we casted was an African-American lesbian.

When we casted for the show, we created the characters and then asked questions like: “Does this have to be a guy?” I think show creators should take that extra step and be conscious about these things. I don’t think people always take that open approach when casting.

*Spoiler Alert* A lot of people felt heartbroken about how everything ended. Why did you let the show end in a breakup?

That’s all in the eye of the beholder. I personally believe the end of the show is pretty optimistic. Both characters are doing exciting things. You can find happiness in other parts of your life aside from relationships. The show is essentially about making hard decisions and not knowing if they’re right or wrong. It’s about the grey areas of life.S

Stream the full season now over at

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