Overcoming the Emotional Toll of Negative Reviews: Kumail Nanjiani’s Experience with Marvel’s Eternals

Kumail Nanjiani opens up about his emotional journey following the release of Marvel’s Eternals. In a recent interview on the Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum podcast, the actor reveals that he had to seek counseling to cope with the negative reviews the film received. Despite thoroughly enjoying the experience of working on the movie, Nanjiani confesses that the harsh criticism took an immense toll on his mental well-being.

The Marvel Dream

Released in 2021, Eternals boasted an impressive ensemble cast, including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, and many other talented actors. Marvel had high hopes for the film, expecting it to be well-received by both fans and critics alike. However, the reality was far from the anticipated success. With a meager 47% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Eternals failed to impress the critics.

The disappointment of Eternals’ reception was amplified by Marvel’s decision to lift the embargo early, generating high expectations surrounding the film. Nanjiani describes the grueling experience of being sent on a global tour to promote the movie, only to be met with scathing reviews. The actor admits that he read many of these reviews, which further exacerbated his feelings of distress.

Nanjiani recognizes that his emotional turmoil arose from his excessive reliance on external validation. He reveals that he had been evaluating his work solely on the basis of others’ opinions, leading to a significant blow to his self-esteem. The negative reception of Eternals served as a wake-up call, highlighting the need for a shift in his perspective.

Despite grappling with the impact of negative reviews, Nanjiani offers a unique perspective on the matter. He believes that external factors beyond the movie’s quality contributed to the harsh critiques it received. Perhaps the film fell victim to the “weird soup” of circumstances that led to its unfavorable reception. Nanjiani refuses to let this setback define his own worth as an artist.

Realizing the need for change, both for himself and his relationship with his wife, Emily, Nanjiani decided to seek counseling. This pivotal moment marked a shift in his approach to his work. He acknowledged the importance of prioritizing his own creative fulfillment over seeking validation from others.

Kumail Nanjiani’s experience with Marvel’s Eternals serves as a poignant reminder of the emotional toll that negative reviews can have on artists. It highlights the need for a healthier perspective on success and the dangers of relying too heavily on external validation. Nanjiani’s decision to seek counseling and reevaluate his approach to his work demonstrates his resilience and determination to overcome these challenges. Regardless of the outcome, it is essential for artists to find fulfillment in their own creative journeys and learn to detach their self-worth from the opinions of others.


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