“The Big Sick” writer and star Kumail Nanjiani and director Michael Showalter shared one of Nanjiani’s earliest casting stories at the Variety Screening Series Presented by FilmStruck.

Showalter explained that he made Nanjiani and Jessi Klein, who were writers on “Michael & Michael Have Issues,” audition to play themselves, and then after getting permission from Comedy Central to cast them both in the roles, told Nanjiani and Klein separately of their castings — intentionally neglecting to mention that the other had also been cast, and requesting that they not inform the other.

“We immediately knew what these a–holes had done. I thought it was hilarious. Jessi was so upset,” Nanjiani recalled.

“She didn’t come back to work for like two days,” Showalter said.