Nanjiani: I Sought Therapy After Crappy Film Reviews

'Eternals' star says it was 'very, very tough' to hear criticism of the 2021 Marvel movie
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2024 11:10 AM CST
Nanjiani: I Sought Therapy After Crappy Film Reviews
Kumail Nanjiani arrives at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Jan. 15 at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

When Kumail Nanjiani shot 2021's Eternals, alongside big names like Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Barry Keoghan, he had a blast. "I had the best time doing that movie, and I realized this is how work should feel like," the 45-year-old Silicon Valley star said Tuesday on Michael Rosenbaum's Inside of You podcast. But when the Marvel film's meh reviews started pouring in—Deadline notes it received a big green splat on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 47% critics rating—"that was very, very tough for me," Nanjiani noted. "I realized 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."

Nanjiani said that because Marvel had such faith in the film, it sent him and the other stars on a world promotional tour, set to coincide with the embargo on the movie lifting—but reviews weren't the good ones that everyone involved hoped for. "We had to ... travel the world while they thought we'd be going on a wave of raves ... and it wasn't true," he noted. "The reviews were really bad." Nanjiani added he couldn't stop obsessing over them, either. "I was too aware of it," he said, per the Hollywood Reporter. "I was reading every review, I was checking too much."

The reviews were so disheartening, in fact, that Nanjiani had to turn to counseling. "It was really, really hard, and that's when I was like, 'This is unfair to me, it's unfair to [my wife] Emily [Gordon], I can't approach my work this way anymore," he recalled, noting that didn't think it was the movie's quality that did it in, but some "weird soup" of other factors. He said he realized "some s---'s gotta change," so he began seeing a mental health professional to help him through it. While the sting has since subsided a bit, Nanjiani noted: "I still talk to my therapist about that." (More Kumail Nanjiani stories.)

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