Marvel actor who called traditional masculinity ‘a disease’ reveals he went to therapy after critics trashed his movie

News & Politics

Actor Kumail Nanjiani, who starred in Marvel’s “Eternals,” revealed that following a year of transforming his physique to better suit a superhero role, he experienced “trauma” over his movie being poorly received by critics and audiences and needed therapy.

Nanjiani spent months on end in the gym to prepare for the big studio movie and allegedly put on 25 pounds of muscle for the role. The actor was even on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

“I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked,” he wrote on Instagram in 2019. “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.”

Despite this, Nanjiani stated in 2020 that he thought “traditional masculinity” was “a disease.”

In a since-deleted post on X (then Twitter), Nanjiani responded to a post that asked “why did so many men stick with Trump in 2020? The COVID-19 pandemic may have given him a way to reach more masculine men. Many of those men actually liked Trump’s ‘shrug it off’ approach.”

Years later, the actor revealed to fellow star Michael Rosenbaum that he was still greatly affected by the negative reviews of his movie.

Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, so they lifted the embargo early and put it in some fancy movie festivals, and they sent us on a big global tour to promote the movie right as the embargo lifted,” he said on “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum.”

He described the experience as “really, really hard,” as he was “too aware” of the negative reviews and read “every” one of them. He also claimed that he began acting “unfair” to his wife.

“I started counseling,” he revealed. “I still talk to my therapist about that. … I do have trauma from it. We actually just got dinner with somebody else from that movie and we were like, ‘That was tough, wasn’t it?’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, that was really tough.'”

“I realized I can’t be so results-based in my in my work any more ’cause I can’t really control it. I can control my experience, I can control how I am to the people around me, I can control what I learn from it, I can control how I work. I can’t control what people are going to think of it,” he added.

Marvel’s “Eternals” was a film about immortal aliens who emerged from hiding after thousands of years, the Guardian explained. Nanjiani played the character Kingo, who was described by the outlet as a fame-loving hero who can create cosmic energy projectiles. The character became a Bollywood star as a means to blend in on Earth.

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