Fans come to Kumail Nanjiani's defense after he's body shamed and accused of using steroids for his Marvel superhero movie 'Eternals'

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kumail nanjiani
Kumail Nanjiani rang in the New Year by sharing a photo of cake. Some social media users wouldn't let him welcome 2021 peacefully. Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP
  • Kumail Nanjiani posted a photo of himself seemingly about to cut into a slice of cake to celebrate 2021.

  • Some people used the photo to accuse "The Big Sick" actor of steroid abuse for his upcoming Marvel movie role in this fall's "Eternals," noting his appearance.

  • Fans defended Nanjiani saying that other actors who have bulked up for Marvel movies, including Chris Pratt, never received the same kind of flak.

  • The 42-year-old actor first shared a photo of his body transformation in December 2019, which had fans and celebrities alike fawning over the star.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Kumail Nanjiani was body shamed and accused of steroid use after sharing a simple photo wishing fans a Happy New Year

"Happy new year! I celebrated with a pandan tres leches cake from @marysmakeshop that made me rethink everything," Nanjiani captioned the photo of himself seemingly about to enjoy a slice of cake.

"I only eat Pandan tres leches cakes from here on out. Hope everyone had a good and safe NYE. Here's to a better 2021 for us all," he added. 

The photo of the Oscar-nominated actor quickly turned into a heated debate across social media with some speculating on how Nanjiani got into shape for his role in Marvel's upcoming "Eternals" movie, out this November.

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Fans quickly came to his defense, pointing out that when other actors transformed their bodies for superhero roles - including Chris Pratt and Chris Evans - they were applauded rather than torn down.

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Nanjiani first showed off his new physique for the upcoming superhero team-up in December 2019.

At the time, fans and celebrities alike couldn't stop talking about (and thirsting over) Nanjiani's transformation. Among Nanjiani's admirers was Tan France ("Queer Eye"), writing, in all caps, "ARE YOU F---ING KIDDING ME? I AM LIVID."

The actor revealed back then that he had trained for a full year to get into superhero shape for his role. The actor is set to play Kingo, one of the best skilled swordsman on Earth, in the comics. Marvel's film synopsis described the character as "cosmic-powered.

"I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel's 'Eternals' and decided I wanted to transform how I looked," Nanjiani shared in 2019. "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."

Nanjiani's trainer, Grant Roberts, told The Hollywood Reporter they worked together to build a realistic goal for him to increase muscle, drop excess body fat, and create body symmetry. To get into superhero shape, the actor trained four-to-five days a week at the gym, sometimes heading there twice in one day.

When he was on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" a month later in January 2020, Nanjiani said he had given up pizza and donuts for over a year.

kumail nanjiani jimmy kimmel desserts
Kumail Nanjiani was delighted to be surprised with sweets in January 2020 by Jimmy Kimmel. ABC

"I've had no refined sugar in a year, I've had almost no carbs at all," Nanjiani told Kimmel.

"You know what my snack is? I get a bag of sugar snap peas and I eat them," he added. "That's what I've been doing at night when I'm like, 'I'm a little hungry. I'm going to treat myself.'"

At the time, Nanjiani became emotional when presented with sweets. So it's a big deal to see the actor happily showing off a photo of himself with a slice of cake. 

"Eternals" was delayed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is currently set for a theatrical release on November 5, 2021.

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