Kumail Nanjiani had a deeply personal reason for getting so ripped for new Marvel movie The Eternals.
The Silicon Valley favourite stars opposite Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington in the new superhero flick, which is set for release in February 2021.
He displayed his buff new body in December after landing the role of immortal being Kingo, and has now spoken candidly to The Hollywood Reporter about why it was so important he looked the part.
“Yeah, I did it for all my people. I’m ripped for Pakistan,” he smiled. “It was very significant because it was something that I really, really wanted to do. Now on top of that, there’s this other pressure in that I’m the first. But that stuff is a little harder to negotiate, because I can only represent myself. So, I do feel the pressure, but the only way to relieve it is just to have more people have these opportunities. I, one person, cannot represent a whole group of people because all of our experiences and backgrounds are completely different.”
Brian Tyree Henry and Gemma Chan also feature in The Eternals.
Sizing the character up when he first landed the role, Kumail looked at Kingo in the context of other Marvel superheroes, like Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Chris Evans’ Captain America.
“When I got that part, I was like, ‘I want to look like someone who could take on the traditional Hollywood-looking superhero – someone who could take on Thor or Captain America’,” he recalled. “To me, that was an important part of getting to play the superhero, and for me it was important because I was the first one.”
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