Kumail Nanjiani depicts a superhero under the cover of a Bollywood celebrity in Eternals. The actor disclosed that he originally had said no to Bollywood dancing in the film.
Hollywood star Kumail Nanjiani says he originally denied the idea of conducting a Bollywood dance sequence in Eternals, but director Chloe Zhao persuaded him to step out of his comfort zone.
The approaching Marvel Cinematic Universe movie revolves around the Eternals, an alien race residing on Earth for over 7,000 years, who join together to protect humanity from their evil equivalents, the Deviants.
Nanjiani, best known for the Silicon Valley series and the movie The Big Sick, plays Eternal Kingo who can shoot cosmic energy bullets from his hands. While living on Earth, he lives undercover as a famous Bollywood celebrity to mix in with the humans.
The Pakistani-American actor-comic told he struggled for months with choreographer Nileeka Bose to get his steps good because dancing was “outside my comfort zone”.
“By far the hardest thing was the dancing, I kind of put Chloe on the spot. I can’t swear, so put in a swear word here. Chloe lied to me,” he added.
“When we first talked about the movie, she was like, ‘There is a Bollywood dance sequence’. And I was like, ‘Chloe, I don’t think I could do that’. She’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll make it a Bollywood action scene’, and then as soon as I got to London, she was like, ‘It’s a dance sequence’. And I was like, ‘Give me a dance teacher right now — Nileeka who was wonderful,” Nanjiani told in a virtual global press conference, also observed by PTI, on Tuesday night from Los Angeles.
The 43-year-old actor told he totally put his faith in the director and Marvel boss Kevin Feige for his character and its traits, comprising the way he uses his hands as guns to whack at the Deviants.
“Usually my instinct would be with an opportunity like this… There’ll be a moment of excitement, and then fear, but just in meeting her, I was like, ‘Oh, she’s not going to let me suck at this thing’ so if she wants me to do something, I’m going to do it because I completely trusted her,” he said.
Nanjiani told he did not always realize things but “knew enough to trust” Zhao, who won her maiden Academy Award for direction this year for Nomadland.
“So, for me, I was like, ‘Yeah, this doesn’t feel like something I would do but if Chloe thinks I can do it, let’s do it. Finger guns… I was like how do I shoot this and she was like, ‘You do that’ (imitating the gesture). I was like, ‘This is so goofy’, she’s like, ‘No, it’s gonna look awesome’ and it looks awesome,” he guaranteed.
The ensemble crew of Eternals also comprises Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Lia McHugh, Brian Tyree Henry, Lauren Ridloff, Barry Keoghan, Don Lee, Kit Harington, Salma Hayek, and Angelina Jolie.
The movie is planned to be theatrically released in India on November 5th in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.