Kumail Nanjiani reveals he needed therapy after bad reviews for Eternals – The Guardian

The 2021 Marvel blockbuster’s poor reception was ‘really, really hard’ and down to ‘some weird soup in the atmosphere’, the actor said on a recent podcast
The actor Kumail Nanjiani has said that bad reviews for Eternals, Marvel’s little-loved 2021 blockbuster, affected him so deeply he started seeing a therapist.
Speaking on Michael Rosenbaum’s podcast, Inside of You, the actor said: “The reviews were bad, and I was too aware of it. I was reading every review and checking too much.”
Eternals features a group of immortal aliens who emerge from hiding after thousands of years to protect the planet from their ancient counterparts. Nanjiani played Kingo, a fame-loving Eternal who can create cosmic energy projectiles and becomes a Bollywood star to blend in on Earth.
Nanjiani undertook many months of fitness and dance training to prepare for the role; his physical transformation attracted much heat on social media in the run-up to the film’s release.
Anticipation was high for the movie, the first from acclaimed director Chloé Zhao since Nomadland swept the Oscars. Trailers had hinted at the ambitious scope of the plot and visuals – which often eschewed CGI, to the surprise of Marvel boss Kevin Feige – and the inclusivity of the film’s cast, which featured the franchise’s first gay and first deaf protagonists, was much applauded.
But critics were lukewarm on the final film, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw saying: “There are some nice touches and an attractive new diversity worn lightly, but this is an underpowered and uncertain film.”
The film has a 47% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and US audiences exiting the film polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of B – the lowest score ever achieved by a Marvel Cinematic Universe film.
“It was really, really hard,” said Nanjiani, “because Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, so they lifted the embargo early and put it in some fancy movie festivals and they sent us on a big global tour to promote the movie right as the embargo lifted.”
Nanjiani said this unfortunate timing was “heightened” by the press tour taking place during the Covid pandemic.
“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,” he said.
“It was really hard, and that was when I thought it was unfair to me and unfair to [my wife] Emily, and I can’t approach my work this way any more. Some shit has to change, so I started counselling. I still talk to my therapist about that.
“Emily says that I do have trauma from it,” he continued. “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 and his wife, Emily V Gordon, were nominated for a best original screenplay Oscar in 2018 for their romcom The Big Sick, in which Nanjiani starred with Zoe Kazan.







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