The reason behind Kumail Nanjiani’s ripped The Eternals transformation

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…

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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Kumail Nanjiani working hard to keep The Eternals physique

Kumail Nanjiani is working hard to keep up his The Eternals physique during lockdown.The 42-year-old debuted his superhero body transformation back in December after landing the role of immortal being Kingo in Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster. And in a ne…

Kumail Nanjiani is working hard to keep up his The Eternals physique during lockdown.

The 42-year-old debuted his superhero body transformation back in December after landing the role of immortal being Kingo in Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster.

And in a new interview, Kumail revealed that he hasn’t missed a day of training, even while self-isolating at his home in the U.S. during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I have been working out a lot, especially in the beginning. The first month and a half of it I just felt so out of control and I was like, ‘Oh, this is a thing I could definitely do.’ And so, I really did. I’m trying to take a little bit of a break now, but yeah, I’ve kept it up,” he told TheWrap’s The Wrap-Up podcast.

The Big Sick star dramatically overhauled his lifestyle to get his rippling abs by undergoing intense gym workouts and abiding by a strict diet, and accordingly, he’s not about the let go of his impressive physique after investing so much time and effort into the fitness regime.

“I also know how hard it was to get it, and it’s much easier keeping it than it is to get it, and I don’t want to go through that process again,” Kumail explained. “I would say keeping it is half as difficult. Yeah, it’s a lot easier.”

The Eternals, co-starring Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington, is set to be released in February 2021.

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Kumail Nanjiani wants more South Asian representation in Hollywood

Kumail Nanjiani has called for more South Asian representation in Hollywood movies.The Big Sick star, who is Pakistani-American, is pushing for more interesting and distinct roles being made available to actors and actresses of Indian, Pakistani, Sri L…

Kumail Nanjiani has called for more South Asian representation in Hollywood movies.

The Big Sick star, who is Pakistani-American, is pushing for more interesting and distinct roles being made available to actors and actresses of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi descent.

“(When) we’re represented here, it all gets flattened into one thing. Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, it all gets squished into one,” Nanjiani told Variety’s #REPRESENT: Success Stories. “Obviously, on-screen representation is important, but I think writing, directing, those things are very, very important because we just need more people telling their stories.”

“If someone says, ‘Oh, you know that hit Asian movie,’ I want people to be like, ‘Which one?’” he added.

The 42-year-old actor, who will be starring as superhero Kingo in Marvel’s upcoming blockbuster The Eternals, confessed it was hard to have meetings regarding representation in Hollywood, because movie bosses are only guessing what audiences want.

“Rather than making something that you could be proud of, people are trying to guess what audiences want, which is hard, because there’s no way to know what audiences want. All you can know is what you want, and what you want to see,” he explained.

The Eternals, also starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Richard Madden, is scheduled to hit cinemas in February 2021.

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Kumail Nanjiani’s parents collect merchandise featuring images of his buff body

Kumail Nanjiani’s parents love to buy accessories featuring images of their son’s ripped physique.Back in December, the 42-year-old debuted his incredible transformation on social media by uploading a snap of himself posing with bulging biceps and defi…

Kumail Nanjiani’s parents love to buy accessories featuring images of their son’s ripped physique.

Back in December, the 42-year-old debuted his incredible transformation on social media by uploading a snap of himself posing with bulging biceps and defined abs.

Kumail told his fans and followers that he had overhauled his diet and lifestyle to get in shape for his upcoming role as superhero Kingo in Marvel’s The Eternals, and revealed his family members were blown away by his new muscular body.

And in a new interview with Variety for their #REPRESENT: Success Stories series, the star joked that his parents now have socks adorned with pictures of his shirtless body.

“It’s the only time they’ve said vocally that they’re proud of me. It’s the only time!” he laughed. “My dad got socks with my shirtless body on it. I had aunts texting me like, ‘We’re so proud of you! You’ve worked so hard!'”

Late last year, the Silicon Valley actor also discussed how odd it was when images of his transformation went viral on social media, and exploded on news sites across the world – even causing a sensation in his native Pakistan.

“My brother said, ‘Dad already sent your (half) naked pics to both families’ WhatsApp groups,'” he told U.S. talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! “And then it goes in newspapers in Pakistan. So, I had all my aunts texting me pictures of myself, like, ‘So proud of you.’ It’s weird to have your aunts sending you naked pictures of yourself.”

The Eternals, co-starring Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, and Kit Harington, is set to be released in February 2021.

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Issa Rae never considered herself an actress

Issa Rae “never considered” herself as an actress.The 35-year-old found fame by creating and co-writing the HBO TV show Insecure, which she stars in, and its success has helped her land roles in films such as Little, The Hate U Give, and The Photog…

Issa Rae “never considered” herself as an actress.

The 35-year-old found fame by creating and co-writing the HBO TV show Insecure, which she stars in, and its success has helped her land roles in films such as Little, The Hate U Give, and The Photograph.

In a cover interview with Teen Vogue, Rae admitted she always thought she was an actress “for fun” and is experimenting with different genres to help her improve.

“I just want to try different things (and) keep getting better… because I’ve never considered myself an actress,” she said of her film career. “I always considered myself a writer-producer – and an actress for fun. I want to make sure that with each project I’m taking on, I’m bringing something to the table and not just showing up as me. A lot of people don’t get this opportunity, so I don’t want to take it for granted.”

Rae was gearing up to promote her new movie The Lovebirds, a romantic comedy with Kumail Nanjiani, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing the cancellation of South by Southwest (SXSW) festival, where it was set to premiere in March. Following the widespread closure of cinemas, the film was bought by Netflix and debuted on the streaming service earlier this month.

And Rae has been using the lockdown to work on a variety of upcoming creative projects.

“All I’ve ever said is, ‘If I just had more time, I could kill it.’ Lord knows I didn’t want it this way, but I’m just being very productive and getting all the s**t done that I’m being paid to do,” the star shared. “I still listen to the news every morning and have anxiety about all of the things that we are doing wrong, and I worry about my family, but the only way for me to not drive myself insane is to continue pretending like things are normal. Staying busy is how I cope.”

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Kumail Nanjiani refused to exaggerate accent for movie role

Kumail Nanjiani doesn’t regret refusing to exaggerate his accent for a “really, really big movie”.The Pakistani-American actor has discussed his frustrations at auditioning for “stereotypical brown guy roles” that required him to play up his accent in …

Kumail Nanjiani doesn’t regret refusing to exaggerate his accent for a “really, really big movie”.

The Pakistani-American actor has discussed his frustrations at auditioning for “stereotypical brown guy roles” that required him to play up his accent in order to land the part.

“I have a Pakistani accent, but they would be like, ‘Could you make it funnier? Lean in a little bit.’ And at some point, I decided I just wasn’t going to do that,” he told Variety’s #REPRESENT: Success Stories. “There are certain parts that require a thicker Pakistani or Indian accent, and that’s totally fine, but I just didn’t want the comedy to just be coming from someone exaggerating their accent.”

The Big Sick star went on to recall one audition in which the director of a major movie asked him to exaggerate his accent for the part of a taxi driver.

“So there was a really, really big movie, actually, that I auditioned for, and I was a taxi driver, and the director was like, ‘Hey, could you play up the accent a little bit?’ And I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t.’ And then the guy felt really bad,” the 42-year-old recalled. “And I was like, ‘No, it’s fine. I’m just not going to do it. If that’s what you want, I’m not your guy’… And then that movie was hugely successful. Still, I don’t regret it.”

While Nanjiani did not name the movie or the director, back in 2014, he did state during an episode of his now-defunct podcast The Indoor Kids that he auditioned for a part in Deadpool.

In the 2016 comic book movie, Ryan Reynolds’ character befriends a taxi driver named Dopinder, who is played by Indian-born American actor Karan Soni, who reprised the role in the 2018 sequel.

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Kumail Nanjiani passed up minor Marvel roles to fulfil superhero dreams

Kumail Nanjiani turned down small parts in Marvel movies because he was determined to star as a superhero in one.The 42-year-old, who plays immortal being Kingo in the upcoming comic book adaptation of Eternals, revealed in an interview with Men’s Heal…

Kumail Nanjiani turned down small parts in Marvel movies because he was determined to star as a superhero in one.

The 42-year-old, who plays immortal being Kingo in the upcoming comic book adaptation of Eternals, revealed in an interview with Men’s Health magazine that he wanted to follow in the footsteps of fellow comedy actors Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd, who have carved out successful Marvel careers.

After he was passed over for a part in Marvel’s TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Kumail was determined not to be cast in nerdy sidekick roles, so decided to wait until a bigger part came his way.

“It was a pipe dream, but I was very strategic about it. I was like, ‘I don’t want to be just part of a Marvel movie; I want to be a Marvel superhero,'” he explained.

The Big Sick star appears alongside Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington and Richard Madden in Eternals, and his character is part of a group of cosmic-powered beings who are sworn to protect Earth.

Kumail’s superhero character Kingo disguises his powers by becoming a successful Bollywood star, and he confessed that he based his performance on Bruce Willis’ iconic role as wry police officer John McClane from 1988’s Die Hard, which is one of his favourite films.

“That movie’s life-or-death, and Eternals is life-or-death, too. I was like, ‘How can a character crack wise but still have tension, and not make it feel like you’re making fun of the whole thing?'” he explained.

Eternals will hit cinemas in November.

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Kumail Nanjiani struggled with body dysmorphia amid new exercise regime

Kumail Nanjiani struggled with body dysmorphia after a new diet and exercise regime gave him an entirely new physique.The Eternals actor stunned the world when he unveiled his new look last year, with fans amazed at how he’d gone from scrawny to buff.B…

Kumail Nanjiani struggled with body dysmorphia after a new diet and exercise regime gave him an entirely new physique.

The Eternals actor stunned the world when he unveiled his new look last year, with fans amazed at how he’d gone from scrawny to buff.

But in a new interview with Men’s Health magazine, Kumail revealed he found it hard to accept his drastically-changed appearance.

“I don’t want to discount people who genuinely have debilitating body issues. I don’t have that. But I did start getting some body dysmorphia,” he said. “I’d look in the mirror and I’d see my abs – and when I looked again, they would fade. I would just see the flaws.”

However, once he went public with his new body, the Silicon Valley star did actually find it helpful to see the reaction from his fans on social media.

“When I saw that reaction was when I was like, ‘Okay, I clearly don’t see what’s actually there,'” the 42-year-old explained. “It’s something I’m trying to be aware of and be better at, because that’s not a good way to be. You want to be easy on yourself.”

Among Kumail’s new workout regime, he had electric shocks to his biceps to get his muscles moving. The actor also tried various ways of eating, such as paleo and fasting, before he began to plateau – at which point he took “all of the lessons I’ve learned from all of them combined”.

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Kumail Nanjiani and Patricia Arquette react to SXSW festival cancellation

Kumail Nanjiani and Patricia Arquette have taken to social media to react to the cancellation of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival due to coronavirus fears.City of Austin officials declared on Friday that the annual multimedia festival had been ca…

Kumail Nanjiani and Patricia Arquette have taken to social media to react to the cancellation of the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival due to coronavirus fears.

City of Austin officials declared on Friday that the annual multimedia festival had been cancelled in the interest of public safety due to the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

Studio films such as Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island and David Lowery’s The Green Knight were scheduled to premiere at the event, which was due to kick off on 13 March, and many smaller films without distribution deals have now been cast adrift, with filmmakers looking for new festivals to debut their projects.

Reacting to the news on Twitter, The Big Sick star Nanjiani, who stars in The Lovebirds, praised SXSW officials for making the right decision.

“SXSW is one of my favourite festivals,” he wrote. “I know this sucks for many people for whom this was a massive opportunity. But we’re kind of in an unprecedented situation here and caution is key. Thank you for making the right decision.”

Arquette felt sympathy for the filmmakers who were set to showcase their latest work at the festival, such as her brother David.

“So sad for the filmmakers and my brother @DavidArquette Who was premiering his amazing documentary ‘You Cannot Kill David Arquette,'” she tweeted.

Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson wrote, “The cancelling of SXSW is a devastating blow to a lot of indie filmmakers who were set to finally premiere their hard work. My heart goes out to you all,” while actor/director Mark Duplass posted, “My heart goes out to all those affected by the @sxsw cancellation. So vital to so many artists, organisations, businesses, etc. Let’s order from local Austin businesses. Let’s support the SXSW artists. Let’s take care of each other.”

Announcing the cancellation of the event, organisers said in a statement, “We are devastated to share this news with you. ‘The show must go on’ is in our DNA, and this is the first time in 34 years that the March event will not take place… We honour and respect the City of Austin’s decision. We are committed to doing our part to protect our staff, attendees, and fellow Austinites.”

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Kumail Nanjiani took Bollywood dance lessons to prepare for Eternals

Kumail Nanjiani took Bollywood dance lessons to prepare for his role in Marvel’s superhero movie Eternals.The 42-year-old stars alongside Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and Kit Harington in the upcoming comic book adaptation, which focuses…

Kumail Nanjiani took Bollywood dance lessons to prepare for his role in Marvel’s superhero movie Eternals.

The 42-year-old stars alongside Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden and Kit Harington in the upcoming comic book adaptation, which focuses on the Eternals, a group of immortal aliens who have been living on Earth for more than 7,000 years.

In a recent interview on Deadline’s New Hollywood podcast, Kumail revealed that he took Bollywood dance lessons to prepare for a huge scene in the upcoming movie which involves his character, Kingo, strutting his stuff.

“A lot of it takes place in the present day,” he explained. “My character, for instance, is like ‘OK we’re supposed to keep a low profile, no one should know.’ So I become a Bollywood movie star, that’s my secret identity.”

“We’re supposed to keep quiet and I’ve become the biggest Bollywood movie star,” Kumail laughed, before adding that he had to undergo tough training for the Bollywood number alongside more than 50 South Asian dancers.

“I was like, we went from, like, none of us, to so many in one scene!” he joked. “I took months of Bollywood dance classes to prepare for that. It’s really a workout… and you know, there’s like 52 dancers, and 51 of them are professional dancers, and then there’s me!”

The Pakistani-American star hit the headlines last year when he revealed the new ripped physique he achieved through training for the upcoming superhero movie.

Eternals is set to be released in November.

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