‘The Eternals’ Star Kumail Nanjiani Shares How Wife Emily Gordon Really Feels About His Ripped Body

Working out to look ripped seem to be a central goal for most actors, though far from all. Comedians are known for taking pride in always looking out of shape, something they’ve used to their advantage in movies/TV.

When someone like Kumail Nanjiani suddenly looks like a bodybuilder, it’s going to bring some shocked reactions. Nanjiani has been fighting for years to land a part in a Marvel movie that wasn’t just a secondary role. His patience paid off in landing the role of Kingo in The Eternals.

To land the part, though, he had to beef up his body in the gym. When he achieved this, the reaction of his wife was more than a little interesting. Her response may prove other things top out over body image.

What has Kumail Nanjiani said about his workout routine?

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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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One recent interview Nanjiani did on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast had former saying some hilarious and insightful things about how he was able to get into shape for The Eternals. At one point in the interview, Nanjiani said he had 152 lbs. of muscle after hitting the peak of his workout routine.

Shepard did his podcast without a shirt on to get into the spirit of talking about men’s fitness and getting in shape for Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies. During the interview (with fellow guest Rob McElhenney), Shepard noted all MCU actors are often “lean as f*ck.”

Nanjiani agreed getting lean is the hardest part of working out for those roles. And yet, he managed to do just that, including posting pics of himself on Instagram looking completely buff this last fall. Those who’ve known Nanjiani for the last several years as a skinny comedian-actor couldn’t believe how different he looked.

As he said on the Shepard podcast, Nanjiani’s wife reacted in an unusual way. Initially, it was positive, until going in a different direction.

Kumail Nanjiani’s comment about his body “having corners”

Kumail Nanjiani in a suit and at a podium
Kumail Nanjiani | Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Yes, this comment during the Shepard podcast interview garnered a few laughs. Nanjiani’s fellow comedians were likely envious seeing how ripped he’d become, including Shepard himself who apparently wasn’t nearly as in shape.

The best part, of course, was Nanjiani describing how surprised his wife was for several weeks. Every time she saw him, she apparently went wild. After three weeks, however, she seemed to be over it.

His admittance of this during the podcast set up an unexpected, interesting discussion about how women really feel about men looking this way and whether it always brings instant attraction.

One thing Nanjiani noted is his wife told him he couldn’t go anywhere without looking at himself in every reflective surface. For her, this appeared to turn into a turn-off.

Emily V. Gordon’s reactions to her husband’s body on social media

Those not familiar with Nanjiani’s wife should know it’s Emily V. Gordon, a popular TV writer. She took to her Twitter account to make some comments about her husband’s body in recent months.

In one of her tweets, she noted Nanjiani was still the same person, despite his new muscular look. None of it would have happened had Marvel not paid to help Nanjiani have the best trainers and nutritionists in the world.

Not that Gordon was completely on board all the time with his new physique. In the latter part of the above Shepard podcast, Nanjiani noted: “She said to me very seriously, if you had this body when we hooked up, I would think something is very wrong with you. I would not go out with you again.”

Seeing a comment like this seems to reveal Gordon was only attracted to Nanjiani for how he really was and not the way he looked physically. Some might suggest it’s the best kind of marriage is not going by ab count and strictly personality first.