Earlier this week Kumail Nanjiani broke the internet with his DRASTIC body transformation for his role in the upcoming Marvel film ‘The Eternals’.
Grant Roberts of Granite Gym revealed how he got Kumail BIG & BUFF for his role!
Kumail Nanjiani surprised the Internet on Dec. 16 (and was rewarded by going viral) after he posted two shirtless pics on Instagram unveiling his uber-buff new body. The Oscar-nominated screenwriter and star of The Big Sick and Silicon Valley detailed how, after being cast in Marvel’s The Eternals alongside Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, he went to work with a team of trainers to transform for the superhero film directed by Chloé Zhao.
“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 [Walt Disney Co.] in the world,” he shared with his 500,000+ followers. “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.”
One crucial member of that team was personal trainer to the stars Grant Roberts, someone Nanjiani wrote “made me understand true physical pain for months and months.” The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Roberts on Monday afternoon after the surprise reveal.
“Kumail walked through my doors in January, and he was pretty green to the idea of training. He had a concept in his mind, but we introduced him to something more dramatic and even traumatic,” said Roberts, who added that he takes clients on a full 360-degree plan at his Beverly Hills-based Granite Gym that includes exercise, nutrition, recovery and electric stimulation therapy. “There’s no one dimension to success. You’re constantly shocking the system, and that’s how growth and change occurs. The time in the gym is very intense, even if you’re training an hour or an hour and 15 minutes per day. The rest of the time outside the gym is just as important.”
Roberts said Nanjiani trained, on average, four to five days per week, including some two-a-days. “We had a significant time period, close to a year,” Roberts noted of their plan to get Nanjiani into shape before the actor set off to London for filming. “We sent him away in peak physical condition, but he’s had to maintain that. I give him kudos for being able to do that, especially when he was working.”
Nanjiani credited celebrity trainer and nutritionist David Higgins, celebrity personal trainer Ellis Patridge, trainer and nutritionist Gavin Eivers, trainer Tom Cheeseman, trainer Lance Callahan and wife Emily V. Gordon for helping him on his journey. Roberts, whose client list also includes Eva Longoria, Hilary Swank, America Ferrera, Scott Eastwood and Zachary Levi (whom he helped with the actor’s own stunning transformation for Shazam!), called Nanjiani “fantastic” to work with.
“I’m so impressed by him,” said the trainer. “I can only do so much. He’s the one who has to push through, and it’s definitely painful and there are sacrifices. Kumail drank the Kool-Aid and was all in. I’m very proud of him.”
As for Roberts, he knows what it takes to step in front of cameras. He moonlights as an actor, having appeared in a handful of films for client Clint Eastwood, including Million Dollar Baby, Invictus, Sully, The Mule and, most recently, Richard Jewell (playing the officer Will Jones). “I’m so disappointed,” Roberts said of the poor box office debut of the latter pic. “It’s a really great movie. I think it just went out at the wrong time of year.”