Kunal Nayyar said he was "handicapped" by Raj's selective mutism.
The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019. In its 279-episode run, the CBS show became one of the most successful sitcoms ever and garnered a huge fanbase.
Fans just loved the humor, dialogues, storylines, and, of course, characters of their favorite show. Many long-term viewers still miss the show which makes any new details about it even more valuable. That's why many fans were delighted to learn new facts about the sitcom in a recently released book of interviews with the show's creators and stars by Jessica Radloff.
The book uncovered many fascinating and hilarious facts and opinions about The Big Bang Theory.
For example, fans were shaken to learn that the creators had been thinking about continuing the show without Jim Parsons. The Big Bang Theory stars also opened up about their on-set experiences, both pleasant and frustrating.
For Kunal Nayyar, the most annoying detail about his character was his selective mutism.
Rajesh Koothrappali aka Raj is one of the leading characters of The Big Bang Theory. He is one of four characters who appeared in every episode. Raj has a Ph.D. in astrophysics and is quite a scientist. However, fans love him not for his cleverness or career success but for his romantic and a bit troubled nature.
At the beginning of the show, the character is awkward with women and struggles to start a relationship. His issues with the opposite gender are so deep that he can't speak around women unless he gets drunk. This selective muteness serves as comic relief in the early seasons of the show. The book revealed that the character was based on a close friend of one of the show's creators.
However, for the actor playing Raj it was a real challenge and a reason for frustration. Kunal Nayyar told Jessica Radloff that he felt "handicapped by the character's issue" because he couldn't fully show his acting talent without telling a word in the majority of scenes.
"I would open scripts and see if I was in scenes with a female character," the actor confessed (via TVLine). If women were present in a scene, it would mean he didn't have much to do.
It took six full seasons for Raj to overcome his anxiety disorder. In the Season 6 finale, Raj suddenly speaks up in front of Penny, and like that his issue is over.
"The freedom to be able to speak without that was really nice, just from an acting point of view," Nayyar said.