Kumail Nanjiani revealed during an appearance on the “Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum” podcast that the negative reviews for “Eternals” took a toll on his mental health.
“The reviews were bad, and I was too aware of it,” said Nanjiani, who played Kingo in the 2021 Marvel film. “I was reading every review and checking too much.”
“Eternals” hails from Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao and features a star-studded ensemble including Nanjiani, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Barry Keoghan, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Don Lee, Kit Harrington, Salma Hayek and Angelina Jolie. The superhero epic is one of Marvel’s worst-reviewed films to date, with a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.
“It was really, really hard 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 continued.
Along with being aware of the poor reception, Nanjiani added that the “Eternals” press circuit occurred in 2 -
021 after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, so everything felt particularly “heightened.”
“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,” Nanjiani 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 anymore. Some shit has to change, so I started counseling. 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.”
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