Kumail Nanjiani shared that he sought therapy to cope with negative reviews he received for his role in the film Eternals.

Kumail Nanjiani shared that he sought therapy to cope with negative reviews he received for his role in the film Eternals.

Kumail Nanjiani, the actor, revealed that unfavorable critiques of Eternals, Marvel’s 2021 hit film, had a profound impact on him and led him to seek therapy.

During an appearance on the Inside of You podcast with Michael Rosenbaum, the actor admitted, “I was overly conscious of the negative reviews. I found myself reading every single one and obsessing over them.”

The film Eternals follows a team of never-aging extraterrestrials as they resurface after centuries to defend the world against their archaic foes. In the movie, Nanjiani portrays Kingo, a fame-seeking Eternal with the power to generate cosmic energy blasts, who adopts a celebrity persona in Bollywood to assimilate to human society.

Nanjiani dedicated several months to rigorous fitness and dance training in order to prepare for the role. His physical metamorphosis sparked a lot of attention on social media leading up to the release of the film.

There was a lot of excitement surrounding the movie, as it was the latest project from renowned director Chloé Zhao after her success at the Oscars with Nomadland. The trailers gave a glimpse of the extensive storyline and impressive visuals, which were not heavily reliant on CGI, surprising Marvel executive Kevin Feige. Additionally, the film was praised for its diverse cast, including the franchise’s first openly gay and deaf main characters.

Nanjiani as Kingo in Eternals.View image in fullscreen

However, the final film received only mediocre reviews from critics. According to Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, “While there are some enjoyable elements and a subtle introduction of diversity, overall this film lacks the energy and confidence to truly stand out.”

The movie received a 47% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and American viewers surveyed by CinemaScore gave it a B average grade – the lowest score ever for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film.

Nanjiani stated that it was extremely difficult because Marvel had high expectations for the movie and released the embargo early. The film was also showcased at prestigious festivals and the cast was sent on a worldwide promotional tour immediately after the embargo was lifted.

Nanjiani noted that the timing of the press tour during the Covid pandemic only exacerbated the situation.

“I believe there was a strange atmosphere surrounding the movie that caused it to receive harsh criticism, and I don’t think it had much to do with the movie’s actual quality,” he stated.

“It was incredibly difficult, and at that point, I felt that it was unjust towards both myself and my wife Emily. I cannot continue approaching my work in this manner. Changes needed to be made, so I sought counseling and continue to discuss this with my therapist.”

“It was difficult to hear, but Emily mentioned that I do have trauma from the movie,” he added. “Recently, we met up with another person from the film and we all acknowledged how challenging it was. We shared our experiences and realized we went through something similar.”

In 2018, Nanjiani and his spouse, Emily V Gordon, received a nomination for an Oscar in the category of best original screenplay for their romantic comedy The Big Sick, in which Nanjiani co-starred alongside Zoe Kazan.

Source: theguardian.com