- “Eternals” star Kumail Nanjiani opened up about getting jacked for his role in the new Marvel movie.
- The actor first shared photos of his drastic physical transformation in December 2019.
- Nanjiani told GQ that he’s become “very uncomfortable talking about my body” since then.
Kumail Nanjiani opened up about getting ripped for his role as a superhero in the upcoming Marvel movie “Eternals” and explained how he’s changed since he first posted photos of his drastic physical transformation back in late 2019.
“I’ve found out over the last year and a half, since I did that picture, that I am very uncomfortable talking about my body — and it’s become less and less and less comfortable,” Nanjiani, 43, said in a new interview for the November issue of GQ.
Nanjiani’s involvement in the upcoming film, which is part of phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was first reported in April 2019. Upon his casting, the “Big Sick” star began working out intensely, following in the footsteps of Marvel stars like Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth.
Nanjiani revealed his jacked physique in December 2019 when he posted two shirtless photos on Instagram. The actor said he normally wouldn’t post such an image, but he “worked way too hard for way too long” to achieve this amount of muscle after finding out about his casting as an immortal superhero named Kingo in 2018.
The actor said that he intentionally posted the photos because he “wanted the industry to see me differently” and get offered more varied roles — which did occur after he shared the images.
“With brown people, there are very specific roles that we used to get,” he said. “Either we’re terrified or we’re causing terror. Those are the only two options we had.”
In the Marvel comics, Kingo is a skilled swordsman who spent time training with Samurai and became a famous Japanese action star. In the Marvel movie, Nanjiani’s superpowered character is a Bollywood star.
Nanjiani, who was born and raised in Pakistan, said he got into shape so his character would be “believable” and feel just as “powerful” as the actors he saw in older Bollywood movies.
“If I’m playing the first South Asian superhero, I want to look like someone who can take on Thor or Captain America, or any of those people,” he said.
Nanjiani also told GQ that it was his idea to get ripped for the role, to director Chloé Zhao’s surprise.
The actor said that Zhao “got a little upset” at him for altering his body “to look a certain way.” For her part, the director told the publication that she “wanted to make sure he didn’t feel like he had to do it for me.”