Kumail Nanjiani Opens Up About ‘Traumatic’ Response To Eternals

Kumail Nanjiani has revealed that he was so “traumatized” by the reaction to his film Eternals that it prompted him to start therapy.

Although there was much excitement surrounding the initial announcement that Kumail would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Kingo Sunen, the resulting film was not well received by critics.

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, Eternals received a critics score of 47%, while on Letterboxd, the film was rated 2.8 stars out of a possible five stars by film fans.

While appearing on the interview series Inside Of You, Kumail shared that he was “too aware” of the negative reaction to Eternals, and found himself “reading every review and checking too much.”

“It was really difficult because Marvel thought the movie was going to get really, really good reviews,” the Big Sick star said of the Chloe Zhao-directed superhero film.

“So they lifted the embargo early and played it at some fancy film festivals and they sent us on a huge global tour to promote the film right after the embargo lifted.”

Defending Eternals, Kumail blamed the “strange stew of atmosphere” for “slamming,” not “the actual quality of the film.”

Kumail and some of his A-list co-stars in EternalsKumail and some of his A-list co-stars in Eternals

Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios/Movie Store/Shutterstock

He recalled: “It was very difficult, and that’s when I thought it was unfair to me and unfair to Emily (V Gordon, Kumail’s wife and frequent collaborator), and I could no longer approach my work like this. There were some things that needed to change, so I started counseling. I’m still talking to my therapist about it.”

Kumail added: “Emily said I was traumatized by it.

“We actually just had dinner with other people from the film and we were like, ‘That was tough, wasn’t it?’ and he said ‘Yeah, it was really hard,’ and I think we all went through something similar.”

Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon at a Disney event last monthKumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon at a Disney event last month

Jerod Harris via Getty Images

While there was initially speculation about a continuation of the story surrounding the film’s release, rumors of a sequel have since been debunked.

Help and support:

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393.Samaritans offers a listening service open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI – this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill).CALM ( Campaign Against Living Miserably) offers a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a web chat service. The Mix is ​​a free support service for people under 25 years old. Call 0808 808 4994 or email help@themix.org.ukRethink Mental Illness offers practical help via an advice line which can be contacted on 0808 801 0525 (Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More information can be found at rethink.org.

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