Kumail Nanjiani has some thoughts about the wild reaction prompted by the thirsty shirtless photos he posted that drove the internet insane last year. The “Stuber” star had to hit the gym and build muscle for his career-changing role in the upcoming Marvel film, “The Eternals.”
Also starring A-listers Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and British actors Kit Harington, Gemma Chan, and Richard Madden, Nanjiani obviously had some serious catching up to do.
The comedian and his wife, writer, and producer Emily V Gordon, sat down with Entertainment Tonight to discuss the reactions Nanjiani received in praise of his physique.
“The internet thought it happened overnight,” the 41-year-old movie star and stand up comic said. “The people that I know, I have been talking about it, it’s been obsessively for a year,” he admitted.
To which his Gordon hilariously responds, “That is true, and the way you look almost makes up for how much you talk about it.”
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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!)
In Nanjiani’s defense, he argued that he was obsessed with himself for a while because of the insane amount of work that he had to put into to get chiseled. Indeed, fans and celebrities alike welcomed the comedian’s transformation with open arms. But one particular reaction stood out the most for Nanjiani, a comment from the big man himself — Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
“I like that The Rock said something about it,” he said, referencing Johnson’s praise for his new bod. “That was so cool. He called me brother and said, ‘I know how hard it is’… That one felt great.”