The first time I saw the now-internet famous photos of Kumail Nanjiani’s ripped physique, I assumed they were fake. An elaborate Photoshop from a SpongeBob fan, perhaps. But nope, they’re real: Kumail really did that. “I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are,” the Silicon Valley star wrote on Instagram before revealing that he wanted to “transform how I looked” after booking a role in The Eternals. One of Nanjiani’s Marvel Cinematic Universe co-stars was skeptical of muscles at first, too.
“I was like: ‘Are these for real?!!’ Yes they are!” Salma Hayek wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of herself in disbelief of Nanjiani’s bicep. Which, same.
Emily V. Gordon, Nanjiani’s The Big Sick co-writer and wife, also took to social media to discuss her husband’s new look. “He’s super buff but he’s also still super this guy: a horrifically focused gamer and the best cat lap. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please go to [Kumail’s] Instagram,” she wrote. His trainer Grant Roberts chimed in as well on Instagram, where he answered how he pulled off such a transformation: “He did it the way anyone can… hard work, dedication, and a desire to learn.”
It helps to have “the biggest studio in the world” paying for everything, but point taken.