Kumail Nanjiani had to go to therapy after negative reviews of Marvel’s ‘Eternals’ consumed him.
Despite having an A-list ensemble cast, including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, and Kit Harington, the Chloé Zhao film was largely slated by critics – and he didn’t take it well at all.
Speaking on the ‘Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum’ podcast, he said: “I had the best time doing that movie, and I realised this is how work should feel like.
“However, when that movie came out and the reviews weren’t good, that was very, very tough for me and I realised that too much of how I’m evaluating what I want to do is based on the result of what other people think of it.”
Kumail – who played the Eternal Kingo in the superhero film – recalled: “It was really, really hard because Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, and so they lifted the embargo really early and they also put it in some fancy movie festivals and they sent us on a big global tour promoting the movie right as the embargo lifted.
“So we had to travel the world while they thought we’d be going on a wave of raves and it wasn’t true. The reviews were really bad.”
Even to this day, the 45-year-old actor talks about the reviews in his counselling sessions.
He added: “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. 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. Something has to change, so I started counselling. I still talk to my therapist about that.”