Kumail Nanjiani never thought he would be “one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless,” but he probably never thought he would be in a Marvel movie either. The comedian plays Kingo in Chloé Zhao’s Eternals, which also stars Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie. He got ripped for the part, but that wasn’t the toughest part of his preparation: the dancing was.
Kingo is a Bollywood star, but as Nanjiani told Entertainment Weekly, “I’m not a dancer. I have zero rhythm. I had to take months and months of classes to do this. So it was very challenging, but I know that if we could pull this off and capture the joy and excitement of a Bollywood dance number in a Marvel movie, that would be special.” The Oscar nominee “grew up watching Bollywood movies. I knew every Bollywood movie until like the late ’90s. So to be able to do an homage to the genre of movies that I loved and grew up watching was really special.” You can see a bit of the number in the trailer.
Nanjiani also praised Zhao, whose Nomadland won Best Picture and Best Director at the Oscars, for being “one of the greatest filmmakers ever, and she’s at the height of her powers right now. Working with someone like that, you’d think it’d be intimidating, but it was the opposite. I just felt very safe. I was like, ‘She’s not going to let me suck at this.’”
Eternals opens on November 5.