Any rising star would jump at the opportunity to join one of Hollywood’s premiere franchises in a major role, so you’ve got to hand it to Eternals star Kumail Nanjiani, who managed to land a pair of high-profile gigs in the two most lucrative properties in the history of cinema at roughly the same time.
The actor and comedian plays Bollywood superstar and immortal alien Kingo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Eternals, while he’ll be seen in next year’s Disney Plus Star Wars series Obi-Wan Kenobi. We don’t know who he plays in the latter yet, but he does share at least a handful of scenes with leading man Ewan McGregor, so he’s set to make a sizeable contribution to the story.
In a new interview with ScreenRant, Nanjiani explained how he deals with the pressure and expectations of boarding two of the industry’s most beloved brands in quick succession.
“Well, you just make it small in your head. You can’t go to the MCU, go to Eternals, and be like, ‘Oh my God! I’m playing a superhero in the MCU. This is overwhelming’. You just sort of do the work, and it doesn’t really hit you until the movie comes up. Right now is when it’s actually starting to hit me. For Star Wars, again, it was for me a job, and it was really fun. Ewan McGregor’s amazing. But when you’re there, you kind of have to ignore that everything looks like Star Wars, and that you’re dressed like someone in Star Wars. I don’t allow it to sink into myself, otherwise I get intimidated. When the series comes out, I think, is when I’ll start dealing with it.”
It would be foolish to let it get to his head, not that it was ever a concern when Nanjiani is an Academy Award-nominated writer that’s been working solidly for over a decade across a number of high-profile film and television projects, but there wouldn’t be any shame at all in becoming overawed by working in the MCU and Star Wars back-to-back.