Kumail Nanjiani Opens Up About Seeking Counseling After Marvel’s “Eternals”
During an appearance on “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum,” Nanjiani confessed to seeking counseling after completing the press circuit for “Eternals.” He admitted to being deeply affected by the negative reviews, describing how he found himself obsessively reading each critique.
In the fast-paced and often scrutinized world of entertainment, the pressure to perform and meet expectations can take a toll on even the most seasoned professionals. Kumail Nanjiani, a stand-up comedian and filmmaker known primarily for his roles in comedy, recently shed light on the mental struggles he faced following the release of Marvel's superhero ensemble “Eternals” (2021).
When Chloé Zhao’s first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) released in 2021, it garnered mixed reviews, landing it among Marvel's lowest-rated films. Nanjiani played Kingo, a charismatic thousands-year-old warrior–turned–Bollywood actor and one of the 10 titular Eternals sent to earth to protect humanity. Recently, Nanjiani revealed that the harsh criticism the film received took a significant toll on his mental health.
During an appearance on “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum,” Nanjiani confessed to seeking counseling after completing the press circuit for “Eternals.” In He admitted to being deeply affected by the negative reviews, describing how he found himself obsessively reading each critique.
"The reviews were bad, and I was too aware of it," Nanjiani shared. "I was reading every review and checking too much."
The promotional efforts for “Eternals” only compounded Nanjiani's distress. Marvel had high hopes for the film, scheduling early screenings and a global press tour. However, the timing meant that Nanjiani and his co-stars were faced with promoting a movie while audiences witnessed its critical reception.
"I think there was some weird soup in the atmosphere for why that movie got slammed so much, and I think not much of it has to do with the actual quality of the movie," Nanjiani reflected.
The experience left a lasting impact on Nanjiani, prompting him to seek professional help. One bright spot: throughout the ordeal, Nanjiani says he felt supported by his wife Emily V. Gordon, who recognized the trauma he endured during that period.
"Emily says that I do have trauma from it," he admitted. "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,' and I think we all went through something similar."
Nanjiani's journey with “Eternals” wasn't solely about mental strain. Before the film's release, he gained attention for his dramatic physical transformation for the role. However, even this aspect brought its own challenges.
"I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked," Nanjiani shared on Instagram at the time. "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."
Despite the accolades for his physical transformation, Nanjiani has openly admitted to feeling increasingly uncomfortable discussing his body. This discomfort further highlights the complexities of navigating fame and public perception in the entertainment industry.
In sharing his struggles, Nanjiani provides a candid glimpse into the pressures faced by actors in the spotlight. His openness about seeking counseling underscores the importance of prioritizing mental health, even in the face of professional success and acclaim. As audiences continue to engage with entertainment media, Nanjiani's story serves as a reminder of the human behind the roles portrayed on screen, vulnerable to the highs and lows of public reception.