Back in December 2019, Kumail Nanjiani blew the internet’s mind when he showed off his new, absolutely ripped body that he finely sculpted after landing a role in Marvel’s Eternals. While he’s still very proud of the work that he put into making sure his character Kingo looks like he belongs right next to any of the Chrises, the pandemic pushed the Eternals back an entire year, and it’s left Nanjiani with time to ruminate over the way the media rewards certain body images.
As the months went on, it became clear that Nanjiani has becoming uneasy with his new bod, and in a new profile for New York Magazine, he opens up about the toll his transformation has taken on him mentally. According to the Silicon Valley star, things really went south after a paparazzi photo of him looking not 100% jacked went viral, and he began to obsess over his body and he believed others perceived him:
“This prison has never been tighter, man,” he says. “Having other people decide how you feel about yourself — none of that goes away. It’s all still there. What you have to do is somehow figure out how to have self-worth from within yourself. I don’t know how to do that, but I’ll let you know once I find the key.”
However, the experience has pushed Nanjiani to seek out a new group of supportive friends who he plays video games online. It’s also taught him that you really should never read internet comments or take them seriously, which he discovered after looking into a troll who was giving him a hard time.
“He also regularly posts on sub-Reddits about drinking your own pee, like tips and stuff,” Nanjiani said. “I was like, Oh my God. I’ve been letting someone who drinks their own pee decide how I feel about myself and what I do. There’s nothing wrong with drinking your own pee! Do whatever. Like, you don’t know what people are going through.”
(Via New York Magazine)