Aziz Ansari cares a lot about food and inspiration. Almost all of the stories that he shared at his Vulture Festival panel circled around those two topics. And we are not mad about it! If you haven’t finished Season Two of Master of None (out on Netflix now), go watch it first, as there are plenty of spoilers ahead.
Much of his show Master of None is semi-autobiographical. For example, Aziz really moved to Italy, learned how to make pasta, and speak Italian. Aziz really did have a pork eating argument with his parents. And when Eric Wareheim (Arnold) visited Aziz in Italy, they really did get their car stuck in a tiny alley.
A lot of jokes, bits, and moments came up on set. For example, the car scene in episode nine when Dev is silently having a heart-breaking moment in a Uber. That was decided on in between takes. They only shot it once and it made the final cut.
When asked what TV shows he would take to a bunker Aziz said: The Sopranos, Seinfeld, The Wire or Breaking Bad. Cheesy answer: Master of None so I could see my family.
When asked what year he would chose to relive, though not as himself, he answered Rob Lowe some year in the 80’s. The most scandal free era.
The actors real life personalities inspired the lives of the characters. The audition process was mix of a read-through, some improv scenes, and a hangout session so Aziz could get a vibe for each actor. As we know from last season, Lena Waithe’s character, Denise, was not meant to be black or gay. But because Aziz was inspired by Lena, they formulated the character around her. For example, Lena Waithe’s story inspired the Thanksgiving episode. She also wrote a majority of that episode.
Aziz likes an ambiguous ending. So while the ending of season two might have left some people hanging, that’s the way Aziz and writing partner Alan Yang wanted it to be.
Aziz and Alan haven’t planned for a third season of Master of None. Aziz spoke often about how his process comes from what he feels inspired by and interested in. He’s not creating works out of any sort of obligation. He feels (and I agree) that this makes for better work.