Kumail Nanjiani says ‘Eternals’ was hard on his body image

Kumail Nanjiani has shed more light on his time on Marvel’s Eternals. This time he reflects on how the action movie has negatively impacted his body image and eating habits.

Days after fellow actors Brendan Fraser and Jennifer Lawrence discussed losing weight in previous roles, the ‘Welcome to Chippendales’ star said, “‘Eternals’ brought a lot of those issues to the surface.”

Nanjiani told NPR’s Fresh Air Thursday that he always associates food with “guilt or regret” even before starring as Kingo in the 2021 action movie.

“I’ve always used food as a punishment or as a reward,” he said. “I didn’t really think about it or try to come to terms with it until I was done with ‘Eternals’.”

In addition to his “unhealthy” relationship with food, Nanjiani said he struggled with body image issues during his time on “Eternals.”

As the interview began, he reflected on how he set himself up for the film and how an Instagram post of his torn superhero character went viral. Nanjiani, who previously said he was “uncomfortable” about the picture, said his physical transformation was a double-edged sword.

The hype surrounding his sculpted muscles was “powerful” and “exciting” but fleeting, Nanjiani said.

“It felt reducing, it felt naked, it felt vulnerable,” he said.

The ‘Silicon Valley’ star added, ‘I have no regrets posting these pictures as they have changed my life. However, I wish it didn’t take up so much space in my head.”

Nanjiani’s comments come after Fraser said earlier this week that he suffered temporary memory loss from his “George of the Jungle” diet. In a separate conversation with Viola Davis for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Lawrence said she was asked to lose weight for her role in The Hunger Games.

“I remember the biggest conversation was, ‘How much weight are you going to lose?'” said the Oscar winner.

Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales” was a salve for Nanjiani. He said the show, which features him as Somen “Steve” Banerjee, caused him to reconsider and reconsider his relationship with food.

“It was liberating for months to just eat what I wanted, eat as much as I wanted,” he said. “It sort of freed me from some thoughts about food.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-12-08/kumail-nanjiani-eternals-eating-habits-food-relationship Kumail Nanjiani says ‘Eternals’ was hard on his body image

Sarah Ridley

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