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The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar ‘breaks the barrier’ as chilling killer in Netflix’s Criminal

The Big Bang Theory star Kunal Nayyar has spoken about his dramatic transformation in Netflix’s series, Criminal.

The actor, who became famous for his starring role as Raj Koothrappali in the hit sitcom, will now return to screens as a cold and calculating killer, Sandeep Singh.

Nayyar said that he wanted to ensure his next project after The Big Bang Theory was completely different to Raj.

He apparently reached out to producers for a role after admiring the episodes led by David Tennant.

“It was important to do something that completely breaks the barrier,” he told

“I wanted to make sure that whatever I did next was like, ‘Wait, who is this? Oh My God. Is that the guy from The Big Bang?!’, as opposed to ‘Oh there’s Raj, playing a killer’.”

Nayyar’s performance has received praise from his Criminal co-stars Rochenda Sandall and Shubham Saraf.  

The new series is set almost entirely in an interrogation room, and will also star Game of Thrones’s Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo, and Sharon Horgan.

Each episode focuses on a different suspect, with Nayyar as a hardened criminal seeking an early release by playing mind games on the detectives.

The new, four-part series of Criminal is released on Netflix on 16 September.

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