Utkarsh Ambudkar on art imitating life in ‘World’s Best’ and that time he rapped at the Oscars


Before Utkarsh Ambudkar appeared in the blockbuster Free Guy and starred in the hit CBS comedy Ghosts, like many others, he was trying to make a name for himself in the entertainment world.

However, unlike many others, he had a chance to show off his talents to all of Hollywood by rapping a recap of the 2020 Oscars in front of its A-list audience, with Questlove backing him up. 

Since the well-known bit launched his career, ABC Audio wanted to know what that moment was like for the the co-star, co-writer and co-producer of the Disney+ Original movie World’s Best.

“You know…You have 30 seconds,” he recalled of the performance he began by admitting, “You don’t know me.” 

Utkarsh adds, “I’m working with Questlove, who’s like a legend, a hero of mine…And the moment just met me, and…I just got blessed with like a clarity of mind, stillness of body, and… it came out well.” 

He joked, “It could have easily crashed and burned.”

Utkarsh likened it to an “out-of-body experience,” adding, “Brad Pitt smiled at me…I was like, ‘Brad’s in the front row. He obviously loves me and we’re best friends.’ And the rest kind of took care of itself…”

Ambudkar based his script for World’s Best — in which a mathlete of Indian descent (Manny Magnus) follows his late father’s footsteps as a rapper — on his own life. “I was the kid who was bused from middle school to high school to do math. I was going to the Leopard lounge to do rap battles….And I’m a father now, so it’s a deeply connected story.” 

World’s Best is now streaming on Disney+.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News. 

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