The more Kumail Nanjiani focused on his body, the more Kumail Nanjiani focused on his body.
Nanjiani broke the internet with his incredible body transformation last year. The physical improvement was in preparation for his starring role in Marvel’s “The Eternals”. The intense new workout regimen has taught Nanjiani many lessons. In the past, he has made sure to emphasize how his new figure requires time and financial resources beyond what many people can afford.
“I don’t want to discount people who genuinely have debilitating body issues,” Nanjiani tells Men’s Health. “I don’t have that. But I did start getting some body dysmorphia. I’d look in the mirror and I’d see my abs – and when I looked again, they would fade. I would just see the flaws.”
“When I saw that reaction was when I was like, ‘Okay, I clearly don’t see what’s actually there.’ It’s something I’m trying to be aware of and be better at, because that’s not a good way to be,” he continues. “You want to be easy on yourself.”
It took time for Nanjiani to “rewire” his brain and learn to love the intense workouts. His wife, Emily V. Gordon, witnessed just how much of a toll the workouts initially took on him.
“At first, whenever he came home from a workout, he wasn’t able to focus on anything,” Gordon shares. “He was still a functioning person, but for an hour, you couldn’t really count on him to have a conversation. His body was adjusting.”
She also dishes on how people in her life reacted to Nanjiani’s new body reveal.
“Half the messages I got that day were from people being like, ‘Hey, I want to have sex with your husband, and the other half were from people making sure I was okay with my husband’s naked body being everywhere,” she says. “It took a very private thing from our lives and made it incredibly public. And all I could be was really proud, because he looked amazing.”
Nanjiani did not just fall into the “Eternals” role. Instead, he strategically turned down supporting roles in other comic-book projects with hopes of one day landing a leading role.
“It was a pipe dream but I was very strategic about it,” Nanjiani explains. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to be just part of the Marvel movie; I want to be a Marvel superhero.’”
Nanjiani, 41, covers the April issue of Men’s Health, on stands March 17.