Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani had one-line brief for his trainer on The Eternals: he wanted to look like Bollywood superstar Hrithik Roshan.
Nanjiani is essaying the role of Kingo, a buff Eternal who is a cosmic-powered being who lives in the present day as a Bollywood star in the Marvel Studios film.
The Silicon Valley star had his own ideas about just how beefed up Kingo should be.
“I wanted Kumail to have the freedom to interpret his character, especially his physicality,” director Chloe Zhao added.
For that, Nanjiani turned to Bollywood and invoked Roshan, the Indian actor who has played the superhero Krrish in a film series.
“I went to my trainer and said, ‘I want to look like this guy (Roshan)’,” Nanjiani told Men’s Health magazine.
But the actor had another hurdle to cross after his physical transformation was complete: he started getting body dysmorphia, a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance.
“I don’t want to discount people who genuinely have debilitating body issues. 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,” he added.
In December, the actor shared a few of his shirtless photos flaunting his abs.
Nanjiani said though the photos on Instagram helped, he wants to be “easy” on himself.
“When I saw that reaction was when I was like, ‘Okay, I clearly don’t see what’s actually there.’ It’s something that I’m trying to be aware of and be better at, because that’s not a good way to be. You want to be easy on yourself,” he added.