The Maulik Pancholy Interview

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"I Think Selling Pot Becomes a Way For Him to Have Something to Do"
MB: Plus, he's an arsonist. I was shocked when he burned down the bakery. MP: I don't know how pathological that is for him. I think it's borne out of this intense relationship he has...well, "relationship" is a strong word. This...relation he has to Nancy Botwin. He would pretty much do anything for her. MB: When you came to the show, were you aware Sanjay was a character with the potential to torch a building? MP: Not at all. MB: What else have you discovered about him? MP: Not to judge the character, but Sanjay's worldview is a little different than the average human being's. He's a little weird. He's trying to find his footing and direction. It's all rooted in the paradox of being a highly intelligent underachiever, and there's some weird behavior that comes out of that. MB: I guess you could argue that selling drugs is pretty weird for a guy like Sanjay. MP: I think selling pot becomes a way for him to have something to do. Something to go for. And Nancy's the same thing. And then he discovers some stuff about himself this season that leads to a lot of experimenting and trying to figure himself out. But through all of that, once he makes up his mind to do something, he does it. As in, "I see a way to help Nancy Botwin. I will burn down the bakery." And that's another thing about the writing that's so great. Because you might not expect a character who doesn't really know himself to have that kind of conviction. MB: Before I started recording this, you mentioned that we're going to be meeting some of his family soon. Is his ethnic background going to become a bigger part of his story? MP: We meet his family really briefly, just his parents, and we met a little bit of family in the first season when he started selling pot, but in the classic Weeds fashion, they sort of drifted way. This year it's just one little brief scene. It's in his home, and he and his parents are having an Indian meal. I definitely think his family plays into his character. It would be hard to ignore that. I've known all along that he's poor, and his family is probably a big contrast to his life with these other characters in Agrestic [California]. MB: How so? MP: There's a moment in Season 2, after they think the grow house has been raided, where he's like, "I have to go, my mom is freaking out," and he runs out of the house. And I think that's what it is: His parents have no idea what he's doing, which is part of why he thinks being a drug dealer is so exciting.

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