Comedian and actor Nasim Pedrad isn’t just a handmaiden to Princess Jasmine in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin—she’s also the emcee of Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year Summit which took place at New York’s Alice Tulley Hall at Lincoln Center on Sunday, November 10. (You also probably remember her from her six seasons on Saturday Night Live). On top of hosting the day’s activities, Pedrad is also the creator, writer, and star of the forthcoming TBS series Chad, which was inspired by her own experience growing up in America as a child of Iranian immigrants. (She plays a 14-year-old boy.) And throughout the day, she had some wisdom to share on what it means to "Go Big."
Her best quotes, below.
“I wanted to play Middle Eastern characters— people—who were funny, nuanced, and flawed, and with flaws that were relatable. Characters that had humanity to them. But those parts didn’t really exist. Back then I found that so much of the representation of Middle Easterners in the media was predominantly negative. So since the roles I wanted weren’t available to me, I knew I had to ‘Go Big’ and create them myself. And that’s when I started writing.”
“I was determined and excited to be my own boss and create my own show.”
“When I first told the network I wanted to play a 14-year-old boy [in Chad], the idea was met with legitimate confusion and concern. ‘There’s no way we can make that show! What’s wrong with you! Like, Nasim, Why don’t you play the mom!’ In fairness, they had every reason to believe I’d pitch them a show where I’d play, you know, like an adult woman.
"But that’s not the show I wanted to make. I thought you could make a teen show so much funnier if the teenager was played by an adult who’s in on the joke who has that perspective of why teenagers are so funny. And I knew I could disappear into looking like a little dude…So I spent the next five years fighting for this show to see the light of day. Chad was my personal ‘Go Big’ moment. And by moment, I mean an excruciating half decade of challenges, set-backs, but ultimately perseverance.”
“I really wanted to write something that felt honest to my experience growing up in America as a child of immigrants.”
“Right now, I want you to take a second and think about a challenge you have in front of you where you could ‘Go Big.’”
“Raise your hand if you’ve ever had to help your parents with technology. Was it fun? Or did it result in the sudden death of your will to live?”
Find out more about Nasim Pedrad and Glamour’s 2019 Women of the Year here.
Originally Appeared on Glamour