Kumail Nanjiani has revealed that negative reviews for Marvel movie Eternals affected his so badly that he sought therapy afterwards.
The 45-year-old star of The Big Sick, who scored his breakthrough on HBO comedy series Silicon Valley, to play Kingo in the film, one of a group of superpowered beings, who also .
He appeared in the film alongside an impressive cast featuring , , Gemma Chan, Barry Keoghan, Kit Harrington and Salma Hayek.
However, even that – alongside Oscar-winning filmmaker Chloé Zhao at the helm, following up her Academy Award-winning success with Nomadland – couldn’t .
In fact, it’s one of Marvel’s worst critiqued films in the franchise’s entire canon, with just 47% on Rotten Tomatoes – only is below it, .
Acknowledging the bad reaction from the press, Kumail admitted: ‘I was too aware of it. I was reading every review and checking too much.’
During an interview on the podcast, the star revealed that Marvel bosses had been expecting a much warmer reception.
‘It was really hard because Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, so they lifted the embargo early and also 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.’
However, he also thinks the fact their major press tour happened in 2021, shortly after the height of the Covid pandemic, left everything especially ‘heightened’.
‘I think that there was some weird soup in the atmosphere for why that movie got slammed so much, and I think not very much of it has to do with the actual quality of the movie,’ the actor insisted.
He also revealed he personally loved the film and was in it and that of his colleagues, having ‘seen it a bunch of times ‘cos it’s my kind of movie’ – despite not.
Kumail also shared why it was this experience that led him to look for help managing his emotions and reaction.
‘It was really hard, and that was when I thought this is unfair to me and unfair to [my wife] Emily [V. Gordon], and I can’t approach my work this way anymore. Some s**t’s got to change, so very intentionally I started counselling. I still talk to my therapist about that.
His screenwriter wife also reckons that he still ‘do[es] have trauma from it’.
‘We actually just got dinner with someone else from that movie and we were like, “Man, that was tough, wasn’t it?” and he’s like “Yeah, that was really tough,” and I think we all went through something similar.’
He’s not the only star to have spoken up about bad reviews recently, within the countryside from the lambasting Fifty Shades of Grey got from critics.
Addressing the ‘ridicule’,explained that director Sam Taylor-Johnson gave him and his family the use of her place in the country.
However, he couldn’t hide forever, as he had two more movies to film in the trilogy, in which he portrayed sadist Christian Grey alongside Dakota Johnson, 34, as Anastasia Steele, the literature student who becomes his lover.
‘[The film] just made so much money that two and three were like greenlit overnight. It was a strange thing because then you are like, there is a bit of ridicule here and I’m now contractually doing two more of them and knowing that there’d be much more of that damnation to come…’ Jamie revealed.
The trilogy – completed by 2017’s Fifty Shades Darker and 2018’s Fifty Shades Freed – made a whopping $1.32billion (£1.13bn) at the box office, the seventh highest-grossing R-rated franchise of all time, despite the negative reviews.
Meanwhile, Eternals grossed an impressive $402m (£318m) but was the first Marvel film to get flack rather than generally positive reviews.