Kumail Nanjiani Hates His Shirtless Picture, Admits It Made Him Obsessive and ‘Shallow’

In preparation for his role as Kingo in the upcoming Marvel movie, The EternalsKumail Nanjiani transformed his body and shared a shirtless photo revealing a ripped new physique. The actor has received wide-spread praise for his hard work and dedication. But he recently revealed that he now hates that picture because it made him shallow and obsessive.

Kumail Nanjiani
Kumail Nanjiani | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

 What is Kumail Nanjiani’s role in ‘The Eternals’?

In the highly-anticipated new Marvel film, The Eternals, Nanjiani will play the cosmic superhero Kingo. The character is part of a race of ultra-powerful and immortal beings called the Eternals. Kingo is a master swordsman with super abilities, but he lives on Earth under the guise of a movie star. 

The Eternals — which also stars Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington — was originally slated to be released in November 2020. But due to COVID-19 related lockdowns, the film was given a new premiere date of February 12, 2021.

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Kumail Nanjiani gets ripped for his role

In December 2019, Nanjiani shocked fans when he shared a shirtless photo of himself on Instagram. Revealing an incredibly ripped new physique, he noted how much hard work goes into preparing for roles like this. 

“I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are,” he wrote in the caption. “I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked, [but] I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.”

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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)

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Fans praised Nanjiani for his passion and dedication. And the photo ultimately amped up anticipation for the new film.

‘The Eternals’ actor says he now hates the photo

In a recent chat with Ramy Youssef, Kenan Thompson, Dan Levy and Ricky Gervais for The Hollywood Reporter, Nanjiani revealed that he was surprised by the response to his shirtless photo. And, despite all the praise, he admits he’s grown to hate it. 

“It got so much bigger than I thought it was going to get,” Nanjiani said. “If I had known it was going to be like that, I probably wouldn’t have done it because I’ll tell you, I have come to hate that picture.” 

“I don’t want to get into it, but you get a weird body dysmorphia when the whole world is concentrating on how you look, and listen, I am very, very grateful and I put those pictures out for a reason,” he continued. “I did that because I wanted that reaction, obviously. But then when you get that reaction, it’s a little weird. You’re like, ‘People are really judging little bits of your physical being.’ And I know a lot of people have it a lot worse than me, but it makes you feel naked and I became shallow. I got obsessed with how I look and then all I would see are what I perceive as flaws.”

The Hollywood Reporter

Nanjiani may have grown to hate the picture, but there’s no doubt that it got fans excited about the new movie. Hopefully, when The Eternals finally premieres in 2021, his performance will get more hype than his body.