Kevin Feige has never been shy in admitting that his approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been heavily indebted to and influenced by his lifelong love of Star Wars, something that’s now come full circle as he prepares to oversee a brand new original blockbuster set in a galaxy far, far away.
However, not many people would have guessed that two of the franchise’s rising stars would single out the Harold & Kumar trilogy as a career inspiration. It’s been ten years since the last installment in the series was released, but the legacy of John Cho and Kal Penn’s title characters clearly lives on, and has even impacted the highest-grossing property in the history of cinema.
In a new interview, Eternals‘ Kumail Nanjiani explained why he views 2004’s cult classic stoner comedy Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle as a watershed moment for representation in mainstream cinema.
“I’d never seen a brown guy who was a slacker. We were always either nerds or terrorists. Kal was this slacker, and I was like, ‘that is progress’.”
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ alum Awkwafina was also effusive in her praise for the massively popular adventures of Harold & Kumar, which remain favorites among those with a penchant for certain herbal remedies to this day, seventeen years after the first chapter arrived.
“And just the combination of Penn and Cho, how it wasn’t ‘an Asian movie’. It was just a stoner movie. And it was so good.”
As unexpected as it may appear on the surface, it turns out that Harold & Kumar had a massive effect on two young and unproven talents that are now viewed as a pair of accomplished actors and comics, who each look to have a major part to play in the future of the MCU.