Kumail Nanjiani was hesitant to post shirtless photo: 'I was like, I don't really look that good'

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Kumail Nanjiani still hasn’t adjusted to his physical transformation.

The actor, who buffed up to play a superhero in the upcoming Marvel movie Eternals, said Monday on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast that he struggles with what he sees in the mirror daily.

“The dysmorphia thing is something I want to talk about, because I see it affecting me so much that I really have to fight it… all the time,” Nanjiani said on an episode of the show dedicated to men’s bodies.

Nanjiani was a logical choice for a guest since he drew considerable attention in December when he posted photos of himself shirtless that showed he had spent a lot of time at the gym.

Nanjiani told Shepard that his feelings didn’t match up with all the praise he got for his more muscular physique, which will be shown on screen in the much-anticipated November superhero flick.

“When I took that picture, and I put it out, I was like, ‘I don’t really look that good,’” the Silicon Valley alumnus said.

Another guest on the podcast, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney, called that “truly disturbing.”

“When I see myself in the mirror,” Nanjiani continued, “when I take my shirt off to look in the mirror, I look great for five seconds, and then I f***ing swear, I see my body change in front of me. I see it change, and then I just see the flaws… and it was from the reaction to the pictures that I was like, OK, there’s clearly something wrong with me.”

While he was struggling to accept his new look, Nanjiani said he was well aware of the health benefits of working out every single day.

“You actually physically feel better,” he said. “Like, right now I have less anxiety than I’ve ever had, I sleep better. The lack of stress… I was doing this movie and I always get super nervous for any job… I really wasn’t nervous for this the entire time. I was sleeping like eight, nine, hours a night.”

Nanjiani’s body transformation earned props from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Captain America star Chris Evans reached out to him.

“And I don’t know him, Nanjianai said of Evans, “I’ve never met him still but he, like, got my email [address] and was like, hey, I know how much work that takes, so that’s cool.”

In fact, Nanjiani worked out like crazy — every single day for months — to attain his chiseled abs.

“I’m the first brown guy who’s playing a Marvel superhero,” Nanjiani said. “I didn’t want to also be like the first shlubby superhero, ya know?”

He said he wasn’t sure what to do, though, now that he’s done with the film. He no longer has to spend hours in the gym, and he’s done with eating five meals a day as part of his official prep.

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