Kumail Nanjiani's Shirtless Pictures Set the Internet on Fire — but He Added an Important Message

Kumail Nanjiani got buff for his upcoming role in Marvel's 'Eternals,' prompting the entire internet to lose its mind. But it's the message that he posted along with the photos that's the most meaningful.

Robin Zlotnick - Author

Dec. 16 2019, Updated 2:37 p.m. ET

You may know Kumail Nanjiani from his stand-up career. Or perhaps you know him as Dinesh on HBO's Silicon Valley. Maybe you became aware of him through his autobiographical, Oscar-nominated film The Big Sick, which starred in and co-wrote with his wife, Emily V. Gordon. But no matter how you know Kumail Nanjiani, chances are you haven't seen him like this before.

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Since Kumail was cast in Marvel's Eternals movie, he's been working out. Like, a lot. He just graciously gave the internet two shirtless photos of himself, and the internet pretty much fell apart. I mean, people don't know what to do with themselves. Until today, we lived in a pre-shirtless Kumail photo world. I truly don't know what life is going to look like now that we've all gotten lost in those perfect, craggy abs.

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I know. I know. Those of us who've been fans of Kumail for a while can't really wrap our heads around the fact that this is the same guy who hosted The Meltdown, which was filmed in the back of a comic book store in L.A. He was always insanely funny but decidedly more of a t-shirt and hoodie guy than a glistening shirtless thirst trap guy. The transformation is astounding.

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But Kumail's career has come a long way since the shows at Nerd Melt. He is a certified movie star now with roles in Men in Black International and Stuber and now, the MCU. Kumail has been cast as Kingo in The Eternals, set to come out next November. He's been putting in a lot of hard work to get in shape for the movie, so he took to Instagram to show off his new bod. 

One person who's having a lot of fun with this viral moment is Kumail's wife. Emily V. Gordon is a TV writer and lucky, lucky woman who can't seem to get enough of the pics of her hot husband as they make their way around the internet. When one person reposted the pictures and captioned them, "I WAS NOT PREPARED," she responded, "Get f--king prepared, dude." 

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But perhaps the most awesome, most refreshing thing about these pictures is the caption Kumail posted along with them. On Instagram, he didn't shy away from going into detail about how hard this was to achieve and how he could have only done it with the resources at his disposal. 

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He wrote, "I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. 

"I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. 

"Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury-free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) 

"Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again someday. #thirstyshirtless"

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Kumail is getting a ton of support for his transparency and also his pecs. Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness commented on his Instagram post, "Yoooosss!!! I remember you telling me about this when we shot GoT — you slayed this and love your caption — good job love!!" 

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Baby Driver director Edgar Wright commented a simply stunned, "JESUS CHRIST," and Silicon Valley co-star Thomas Middleditch couldn't believe it, asking, "Who are you?" But the best comment by far came from Emily, who knows everything Kumail went through to get that body. "Worth it," she wrote. 

I don't know how long it will take the internet to recover from such a shock to the system, but when something like this happens, it's best to keep looking at the photos, watch three episodes of The Great British Bake Off in the background, and then wean yourself off with a steady stream of Baby Yoda content until you lull yourself to sleep. 

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