Kumail Nanjiani on Playing the MCU’s First South-Asian Superhero in Eternals: ‘Had to Take the Responsibility Out of My Mind’

Kumail’s character in the film is named Kingo, who lives on earth as a Bollywood movie star. Since the Eternals were tasked with combating only their misshapen counterparts, called the Ladies, they have assumed secret identities to blend in among the mortals.

The actor not only had to get in prime shape, but he also had to learn complex Bollywood dance moves to essay the character. Dressing up as a superhero for Kumail was an experience in itself.

Kumail Nanjiani recalled that experience during a conversation with Indianexpress.com. She said in response to a question that the dress was torn to pieces and was the first time it was done, “You have a very emotional reaction. I remember walking straight out onto the set, and everyone was looking at the outfit for the first time. And everyone applauded. It was definitely a day that I will never forget. It helped that the costumes were actually very comfortable. Made me feel great.”

We also asked him if he felt any pressure or sense of responsibility for the role. Kingo is a major step forward in South-Asian representation in commercial cinema. He is the first superhero from South-Asia in the MCU to overtake Kamala Khan actor Iman Vellani as his Disney+ series Ms Marvel will not release until next year.

Nanjiani said, “Responsibility is a real thing, as there are no other South Asian superheroes in the MCU or any other mainstream Hollywood film for that matter. But I had to get it out of my mind, because I felt good as this character.” There was work to do. I can’t represent every South Asian person in the world, because we’re all completely different, right? So as long as it’s a responsibility, I want to do a good job. Something like that is really on you Could be overwhelming. I want to do a good job in it. And hopefully, we will get enough South Asian superheroes who never come down to one person to represent us.

Eternal is releasing on November 5.


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