Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Kumail Nanjiani says his ‘Eternals’ role rejects ‘brown dude’ stereotype

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Pakistani-American Hollywood star Kumail Nanjiani is determined to reject the typical ‘brown dude’ stereotype in Hollywood with his role in Marvel’s Eternals.

Nanjiani, who underwent a stunning transformation for his role as superhero Kingo in the upcoming Chloé Zhao directorial, told The Los Angeles Times that the role gave him a chance to portray something different than what Hollywood usually has to offer brown actors.

“I’ve been in this industry for about a decade and I looked at the usual opportunities that the brown dudes get. We get to be nerdy. I wanted him to be the opposite of that — I wanted him to be cool,” Nanjiani said about his Eternals character, explaining how nerdy tends to be associated with ‘weakling’ which is one thing Kingo isn’t.

 

 

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He further added, “Or we get to be terrorists, and I wanted him to be the opposite of that. I wanted him to be this character full of joy.”

Nanjiani also shed light on how working under Chinese-born Oscar winner Chloé Zhao helped him to achieve his goal of squashing stereotypes in Hollywood.

“In working with Chloé, we were like, let’s take every single thing that I haven’t gotten to do and make a character who’s the exact opposite of the way a lot of American pop culture see people from Pakistan or the Middle East,” he said.

According to Nanjiani, Chloé also helped him hold his own in an ensemble cast by allowing him to do his own thing with Kingo – the film also stars Angelina Jolie, Gemma Chan, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, Salma Hayek, Barry Keoghan and more.

 

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“I was very lucky that Chloé was really on board with that,” Nanjiani said, explaining, “When you have like 10 characters, you’re trying to set yourself apart from the other characters and find your own shadings. You’re not going to get a ton of real estate. So you want it to come from a very specific place. I decided going in, I’m going to have fun during this process.”

The final trailer for Eternals dropped on Aug. 19, announcing that the film will be releasing in theatres on Nov. 5. read more

Touted as Marvel’s most ambitious film yet, Eternals focuses on an immortal alien race who has secretly existed on Earth for thousands of years. Called the Eternals, these aliens possess different powers including flying and super strength.

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