New Hollywood Podcast: ‘We Are Freestyle Love Supreme’s Utkarsh Ambudkar Talks Being South Asian Wit
Utkarsh Ambudkar is probably best known as Donald from the Pitch Perfect franchise, the resident smooth-talkin’ beatboxer of the acapella group the Treblemakers. He also appeared in The Mindy Project as Mindy Kaling’s younger brother. His other film and TV credits include the comedy feature Brittany Runs a Marathon, the IFC series Brockmire and he lends his voice to the Disney Junior animated series Mira, Royal Detective. He also appears in a whole slate of films including the rom-com The Broken Hearts Gallery, the comedy action pic Free Guy alongside Ryan Reynolds and Disney’s Godmothered — but did you know that he played Aaron Burr in early workshops for Hamilton?
Even before Hamilton, he was part of the hip-hop improv group Freestyle Love Supreme founded by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, the subject of the Hulu documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme which hits the streamer July 17. Ambudkar — also known as UTK the Inc — put his incomparable skills to use in the group alongside some of the most talented freestyle rappers that will make your jaw drop. This includes the aforementioned Miranda and Veneziale as well as Christopher Jackson, Chris Sullivan, Andrew Bancroft, Bill Sherman, Aneesa Folds and Kalia Mullady.
For the docu, director Andrew Fried crafts footage dating all the way back to the summer of 2005 — way before we were enjoying Hamilton on Disney+ and In The Heights was being made into a movie. We see the early days of the group and see their journey unfold all the way up to the Broadway reunion in 2019.
Ambudkar stopped by Deadline’s New Hollywood Podcast for a very fun and candid conversation about the docu, his unparalleled rapping skills, his deleted Mulan scenes, his sobriety, South Asian representation in Hollywood and he spills some tea about his fellow Freestyle Love Supreme members while showing off his collection of comic book and basketball paraphernalia. Listen to the episode below.