Life has gotten pretty weird for Kumail Nanjiani since he got ripped.
In 2019, fans of the comedian and actor — who was primarily known for his geeky or funny roles in “Silicon Valley” and his 2017 film “The Big Sick” — were stunned when Nanjiani debuted a photo of his new buff bod on Instagram.
In a Vulture profile of the “Eternals” star published Tuesday, author E. Alex Jung describes how Nanjiani’s drastic transformation has an effect on the people around him.
When Jung and Nanjiani went to a restaurant to get lunch during their interview, Jung noted that the actor’s presence prompted their waiter to express his insecurities about his own body and even reveal his own weight to them.
“I’ll tell you, man, it’s very easy to get obsessed with that number on the scale,” Nanjiani told the waiter. “It’s a tough thing. It’s deceiving. You become obsessed with it. I certainly have, and for me, it’s not great to weigh myself every day. I could tell you what I weigh today.”
“What did you weigh today?” Jung asks.
“163.4,” Nanjiani responded, adding, “I know exactly what I weigh every day, and if I could change something, I would love to not have to think about that.”
Nanjiani was also open about his insecurities, and how feeling nerdy and unattractive as a child had a huge impact on his self-image.
Plot lines in “Silicon Valley” that centered on how ugly Nanjiani’s character, Dinesh, was, also seemed to hit the actor hard.
“That stuff does get to you, where you’re like, ‘Aww … that’s not a great feeling.’ I love everyone on the show, and I never voiced this concern. Maybe I should have. Other actors did when they had stuff that they didn’t enjoy doing. I understand that story line ended up being funny. But yeah, parts of that didn’t feel great.”
Nanjiani admitted to Men’s Health in 2020 that he had body image issues even after he got shredded.
“I don’t want to discount people who genuinely have debilitating body issues,” he told the magazine. “I don’t have that. But I did start getting some body dysmorphia. I’d look in the mirror and I’d see my abs — and when I looked again, they would fade. I would just see the flaws.”
He told Men’s Health that posting Instagram photos, and reading people’s responses, helped.
“When I saw that reaction was when I was like, ‘Okay, I clearly don’t see what’s actually there.’ It’s something that I’m trying to be aware of and be better at, because that’s not a good way to be. You want to be easy on yourself.”
Nanjiani alluded to Vulture that he still struggles with his image and how others perceive him. But, he told the outlet, he thinks that whether or not one has their ideal body, they’re still the same person — which means they have to deal with the same insecurities they’ve had their entire life.
“Having other people decide how you feel about yourself — none of that goes away,” he said. “It’s all still there. What you have to do is somehow figure out how to have self-worth from within yourself. I don’t know how to do that, but I’ll let you know once I find the key.”
To read Nanjiani’s entire profile, head over to Vulture.