Actor Kumail Nanjiani recently revealed that the horrific reviews his film, “Eternals,” received back in 2021, had such a negative impact on his mental health that he was traumatized by the experience and needed therapy. The film was produced by Marvel Studios and was not well received by fans. However, it seems a little ridiculous to allow the opinions of fans and critics to impact you on such a level as to make you need therapy. Some pieces of art simply don’t connect with people. Maybe the script is bad, the story has no hook, or, it could be that the actors’ performances sucked.
Regardless, it isn’t the end of the world. It’s a learning opportunity, something you can use to grow in your craft and become better at your art form. Unfortunately, artsy folk of today’s generation are soft, delicate snowflakes who can’t take the fact that not everyone is going to like everything they do. Could this be the end result of the participation trophy mentality? That certainly isn’t helping.
“The reviews were bad, and I was too aware of it,” the 45-year-old actor stated said during a recent interview on the podcast “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum,” per The Hollywood Reporter. “I was reading every review and checking too much.”
That’s really where the mental health issue lies. Checking too much. He likely became obsessed with reading people’s thoughts on the movie and took in more than his brain could handle.
“It was really, really hard because Marvel thought that movie was going to be really, really well reviewed, so they lifted the embargo early and put it in some fancy movie festivals and they sent us on a big global tour to promote the movie right as the embargo lifted,” Nanjiani went on to explain during the program.
Things did not go as Marvel had hoped, however. Reviewers ripped into the film just as the actors were out promoting it.
“I think there was some weird soup in the atmosphere for why that movie got slammed so much, and I think not much of it has to do with the actual quality of the movie,” the actor revealed, according to the Daily Wire. “It was really hard, and that was when I thought it was unfair to me and unfair to [my wife] Emily, and I can’t approach my work this way anymore. Some sh** has to change, so I started counseling. I still talk to my therapist about that.”
“Emily says that I do have trauma from it,” Nanjiani added. “We actually just got dinner with somebody else from that movie and we were like, ‘That was tough, wasn’t it?’ and he’s like ‘Yeah, that was really tough,’ and I think we all went through something similar.”
“Eternals” is a superhero film based on the fictional Marvel Comics race of humanoids. It was directed and co-written by Chloé Zhao and features an ensemble cast of big-name stars, including Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, and others. The movie grossed $402 million worldwide and received some awards and nominations, but it was also plagued by bad reviews and mostly panned by critics as not meeting expectations.
If you take a gander at the movie on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 47 percent critic score and a 77 percent audience rating. Now, to be fair, critics are often far out of touch with fans when it comes to judging whether or not a movie will be worth watching or not. I have developed my own formula for utilizing RT scores. If critics like a film, but audiences hate it, I’m not going to watch it as I’ll probably dislike it. If the audience score is on the higher end and critics on the low end, I’ll probably enjoy it. If both scores agree a movie sucks, then there’s a high probability it’s absolute horse manure. If both scores agree it’s awesome, then we have ourselves a big winner.
That’s just me though.