Master Of None creator Aziz Ansari has told how he accidentally made a political statement when he cast himself in a romantic role for the show’s second season.
The hit American comedy returns with a new run on Friday, kicking off with a black-and-white episode filmed in Modena, Italy.
It comes after an unusually long break following the first series’ release in November 2015.
The American star, who has roots in south India, said he created most of the new show before Donald Trump’s presidency and the resultant rows over immigration in the US.
Speaking at an early screening and Q&A session in London, he said: “The idea of a guy like me starring as the romantic lead has a totally different meaning now to what it did just a few months ago.
“So, it turned out to be a political statement, even though it wasn’t intended to be one.
“We wrote the show before he … you know, I can’t say his name because I am so sick of talking about him.”
At the beginning of the new season Aziz’s character, Dev Shah, quickly finds himself smitten with a woman he meets at a restaurant while working as an apprentice in a pasta shop.
It also sees a return of series favourite character Arnold, played by Eric Wareheim, and new face Alessandra Mastronardi.
Explaining the long break between the two seasons, he said: “I didn’t want to do a second season unless I felt like we could beat what we did in the first season.
“Netflix called straight away and asked if we were ready to get back to it, but I wanted to take a break and live life a little bit, get some experiences to fill up the notebook so I could come up with something fresh that I was excited by.”
Aziz, 34, told how he moved to Italy before filming and lived his character’s life, working in a pasta shop and teaching himself the language by watching old Italian films.
Commenting on his “improvise now, script later,” style, Alessandra said: “I didn’t realise I was actually involved in the writing because he has this complex way of going into the scene – we just start talking and then he starts recording things, and then you see things you told him about your personal life on the paper.”
However, she wasn’t entirely impressed by her boss’s talents, claiming his attempts at Italian made him sound like a “Russian baby”.
Viewers will be treated to scenes inspired by Aziz’s real-life antics in the country, including the awkward day he and Wareheim wedged a car in an alley and the evening they visited internationally-acclaimed restaurant Osteria Francescana.
Commenting on his experience of British food during his recent trip to the UK capital, he politely paused before saying: “London has a lot of good restaurants, but they’re not serving British food.
“The top cuisines for me don’t exactly go British, then Japanese, then Italian. Just telling it how it is.”
The full second series of Master Of None will be released on Netflix on Friday.