Kumail Nanjiani is best known for his Oscar-nominated true life rom com The Big Sick and for playing web coder Dinesh on Silicon Valley, but now the comedian turned actor is preparing to be known for his work in the Marvel Universe. And like other funny guys before him (Chris Pratt and Paul Rudd, we’re looking at your calf muscles), that means he hit the gym, cut the carbs and got swole. But Nanjiani is doing something slightly different with his new bulging biceps and is putting them to work typing out a refreshingly honest explanation of how it’s very, very difficult to get super ripped if you don’t have professional help 24/7.
Nanjiani posted two shirtless pics on Monday showing off his toned arms and ripped abs, admitting he “…never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are.” And ‘here’ is a place where we can appreciate Nanjiani’s new physique and his willingness to pull back the curtain on celeb transformations.
Nanjiani said that when he found out in 2018 that he was cast in Marvel’s upcoming Eternals movie, he committed himself to getting in the best shape possible. “I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world,” said Nanjiani, adding “I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before.” Saying his transformation would have “been impossible without these resources and time,” Nanjiani thanks his many personal trainers and catering company who supplied him with healthy meals. The comedian also thanks his wife for “…putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day.”
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I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)
Nanjiani’s transformation is not only impressive visually, but it’s also impressive for an actor to finally admit that getting in shape quickly and with incredible results is much more attainable with time and money. Hard work is of course necessary, but when it’s your job to be fit, getting to the gym is easier to make a priority.
Nanjiani is receiving lots of love on social media, with his shirtless pic receiving praise from fellow muscular men like Dwayne Johnson and Terry Crews. Queer Eye stars Tan France and Jonathan Van Ness approved Nanjiani’s makeover, as did his fellow comedians Moshe Kasher, Ali Wong and Chelsea Handler. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Rob McElhenney, who also got in shape for his role on the show, was quick to comment. “It goes without saying that I support this with every fiber of my being. A gauntlet has been thrown and a new bar set,” writes McElhenney. “In related news I have a movie pitch for you about two actors who ruin their comedy careers by getting fit but in the process truly find themselves. I’ll call you right after I fit in the four hour workout I must do now. Bless you.”
The Eternals star talked about the painful and sometimes monotonous reality of getting fit when he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this year. In June, Nanjiani was promoting his new film Stuber and talked about being inspired to work out after co-starring with wrestler Dave Bautista. Nanjiani said the pair passed time during filming by talking about working out. “I asked ‘how do you work out’ and he got me started, so now I’ve started working out,” said Nanjiani. Bautista has already commented on Nanjiani’s post, writing “Holy good god! I’d say mission accomplished. Way to get after it brother!”
As for Kumail’s wife Emily, she seems to be okay with her husband’s new look.