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Kumail Nanjiani Says It's Become 'Very Uncomfortable Talking About My Body'

Kumail Nanjiani Says It's Become 'Very Uncomfortable Talking About My Body'

Kumail Nanjiani is opening up.

Back in 2019, the 43-year-old Eternals actor went viral after sharing a shirtless photo on Instagram showing off his ripped physique as he trained for his role in the upcoming Marvel movie.

In a new interview, Kumail opened up about some of the unexpected consequences he experienced after sharing the photo.

Click inside to read more…

“I’ve found out over the last year and a half, since I did that picture, that I am very uncomfortable talking about my body, and it’s become less and less and less comfortable,” Kumail shared with GQ.

Kumail explained that there were various reasons why he decided to bulk up, explaining how back in his high school kids used to make fun of him, calling him “chicken shoulders.”

He also said that he wanted to get out of the box that he felt he had been placed in by Hollywood.

“I wanted different types of opportunities. I wanted the industry to see me differently,” Kumail explained. “With brown people, there are very specific roles that we used to get. Either we’re terrified or we’re causing terror. Those are the only two options we had. Either I’m fixing your computer, or I’m, like, planning something at the stock exchange.”

Kumail also shared that his Eternals director Chloe Zhao didn’t expect him to get totally buff, adding that she was actually taken aback by it. However, it was something he felt he needed to do.

“If I’m playing the first South Asian superhero, I want to look like someone who can take on Thor or Captain America, or any of those people,” Kumail said of his character, Kingo. “I decided I wanted the character to be the opposite of a lot of the stereotypical depictions we’ve seen of brown dudes in American pop culture. I don’t get to play characters who are cool. And this guy is a little bit cool.”

Kumail then said that his decision to share that shirtless photo was his way of announcing he was ready to move on from all those past stereotypes about his physique.

“I shared that specifically to be like, Hey, I needed to change how people saw me so I could have the type of opportunities I was excited about. And those did happen!” he said. “Now I get those opportunities. I don’t just mean action stuff. I mean, like, now I get opportunities to play a normal guy. I was not seen as a normal guy before this.”

Eternals will be released in theaters on November 5th – watch the latest trailer!

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Kumail Nanjiani

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