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The Eternals' Kumail Nanjiani Gave Shang-Chi Actor Some Great Advice

Simu Liu and Kumail Nanjiani

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will begin shortly, bringing with it a whole host of talented actors to play in Marvel’s sandbox. One of those actors is Kumail Nanjiani who will make his MCU debut as Kingo in this fall’s Eternals. And as we’ve seen, has gotten into tremendous shape for the role. Having been through his first MCU experience already, Kumail Nanjiani gave fellow Phase 4 newcomer, Shang-Chi actor Simu Liu some great advice. Nanjiani said:

Well, Simu was already in really good shape. Not that I wasn't- Simu is already in great shape, and he's going to get in better shape. We met him, we met him at Comic-Con, he was very, very nice. I would suggest, have fun, just enjoy it. It can be very hard when you're doing a big thing like that to really like- you want to focus, but it can be hard to sometimes not enjoy it while you're doing it. So that would be my advice to him, just have fun.

It’s kind of funny to hear Kumail Nanjiani giving advice to Simu Liu given that the former’s MCU debut is still nine months away, but he did go through the process of a Marvel movie first and he inevitably learned from that experience. Part of Nanjiani’s experience on Eternals was undergoing a major physical transformation and attaining an internet-breaking physique, but Simu Liu’s transformation won’t be quite so drastic.

As Kumail Nanjiani told etalk, Simu Liu is already in really good shape, so the Kingo actor doesn’t have specific advice for him on how to get into peak physical form to play the Master of Kung Fu. Instead, Nanjiani’s advice for Liu is more about how the Shang-Chi actor should approach the experience and that’s to just have fun with it. Nanjiani thinks he should try to enjoy the experience of working on Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

That might seem like obvious advice from the outside looking in, but it might not be as easy as it sounds. According to Kumail Nanjiani, it can be hard when you’re working on a project like a Marvel movie that has such a massive scale and is so important to actually enjoy it. As an actor you’re trying to focus and do a good job and get in shape and under those circumstances, taking it all in and having fun can sort of fall by the wayside.

It’s great advice because while it is a job and it is important, playing a superhero, and the Master of Kung Fu no less, is fun and Simu Liu should enjoy it. And having a good time doesn’t mean you’ll give a lackluster performance, if anything that energy and enthusiasm should come through onscreen.

Hopefully this is a lesson that Kumail Nanjiani learned quickly while filming Eternals so that he too was able to enjoy his first MCU experience. But while he was obviously very serious about his training regimen to get into shape for Chloé Zhao’s film, he doesn’t strike me as someone you have to tell to have a good time.

Will Kumail Nanjiani’s Kingo and Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi cross paths onscreen one day? Only time will tell, but fortunately, we have plenty of it as the Marvel Cinematic Universe embarks on a new phase and a new, as yet unknown saga.

Kumail Nanjiani stars, alongside seemingly half the famous people on the planet, in Eternals, which opens on November 6. Then Simu Liu and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings arrive on February 12, 2021. To keep track of all the movies headed to theaters this year, check out our 2020 Release Schedule.

Nick grew up in Maryland has degrees in Film Studies and Communications. His life goal is to walk the earth, meet people and get into adventures. He’s also still looking for The Adventures of Pete and Pete season 3 on DVD if anyone has a lead.