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Dani Pudi on Community

Published September 22, 2009 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of NBC
Community Community

Dani Pudi made a name for himself on the premiere of NBC’s new Community. As Abed, the study group companion who some think has Asperger’s syndrome, Pudi had some of the weirdest, awkward, best lines. He joined the cast at The Paley Center for Media’s fall TV preview to show he’s really a normal guy in real life. Acting!

Dani Pudi Talks Community

“There is definitely a line to walk,” Pudi said. “I have to find why Abed is saying what he’s saying. I think there’s a reason. There’s a method to his madness. I think a lot of people will look at him and maybe at first think he’s really socially off or maybe socially awkward but I really think that he’s just looking at the world differently than you might.”

As the show progresses, Abed may be the secret weapon to the community study group. “In a lot of ways, I think that you’ll see, when people are looking for certain things, Abed is the one who actually has the answer which is kind of a fun thing to play. Abed definitely does get a little bit tunnel vision and gets focused on certain things and tends to focus on them a little bit longer than most people and speaks quickly, but at the same time, the root of it is he wants to connect with people.”

In episode two, we’ll meet Senor Chang, the Spanish teacher. He and Abed might be an explosive combination. “You know what’s kind of funny about Senor Chang? Well, first of all, he’s hilarious. He comes in in the second episode in our Spanish class which is totally ridiculous, absurd and it’s great. I think Senor Chang’s character is also a character where a lot of people might think, ‘Who is this crazy Spanish teacher?’ I think Abed sees a lot of enjoyment. He might be the only one who actually listens to what Senor Chang has to say, because he sees him as being very entertaining and can recognize it for what it is. The fun thing about being in Senor Chang’s class is you never know what’s going to happen. Abed loves being in situations that are theatrical and full of drama.”

That doesn’t mean Abed learns any actual Spanish though. “We’re getting there, we’re getting there. Even though we’re in Spanish class, we’re not really learning much Spanish but I think that’s indicative of most school. I know in my college experience, I was in a lot of classes that I don’t really remember a lot of the specific statistics, algorithms, logarithms, any of that. I don’t remember communication techniques in my Intro to Comm class but I remember the people I was in class with. I remember the teacher. I remember some group projects and I remember some late night study romps. I think this is about the people at this community college and how they interact with each other and grow and hopefully learn from each other.”

Community airs Thursday nights at 9:30 on NBC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of NBC

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