“The reviews were really bad,” Nanjiani remembered, during an appearance on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum. “I was too aware of it. I was reading every review [and] checking too much.”
Unfortunately, Marvel expected the movie would be well-reviewed and lifted the embargo early, so Nanjiani and his castmates were sent on “a big global tour” to coincide with anticipated positive press. This meant the actors were thrown right in the thick of promoting the first MCU film to be certified rotten on Rotten Tomatoes.
By Nanjiani’s estimation, there was “some weird soup in the atmosphere” for why Eternals got panned, and “not very much of it has to do with the actual quality of the movie.” Still, the actor took the criticism “really, really hard.”
“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,” he recalled. “Some shit has to change, so I started counseling. So very intentionally, I did start counseling. I still talk to my therapist about that.”
Nanjiani added that his wife thinks he still has “trauma” from the experience, and mentioned recently having dinner with a castmate from the film who shared similar feelings. Though he didn’t mention a name, he said they are “one of the best actors of our generation and has been nominated for an Oscar since then” — likely referring to Brian Tyree Henry, who was in Oscar contention last year for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his performance in Causeway.
Watch the full podcast below. The discussion about Eternals begins around the 31:15 mark.
Since starring in Eternals, Nanjiani has received an Emmy nomination for his performance in Hulu’s Welcome to Chippendales. Next up, he’s set to make an appearance in Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which arrives in theaters on