Kumail Nanjiani is in a dimly lit basement weight room in Beverly Hills called the Granite Gym, electrical wires attached to his lower back. Elbows in two cloth cradles, he grunts thru reps of a modified lat pulldown as his instructor, Grant Roberts, grants electric costs to his lower back muscular tissues.
“You ready?” Roberts asks. “Never,” Nanjiani says. Roberts fires some other surprise anyway, and Nanjiani’s lats quiver. Then he does any other rep.
The forty-one-yr-vintage is hoping all that voltage (ok, best 70 milliamps, but!) can speedy-tune his transformation from a comedic actor into motion big name. Nanjiani made his call with the aid of making you snigger in The Big Sick and HBO’s Silicon Valley, and he’ll do that again in Men in Black International this summertime. But his subsequent function, rumored to be in a main comedian-book movie, involves a makeover. “I recognize what’s keeping me returned from those roles is how I appearance,” he says. “So I’m changing that.”
To that quit, Nanjiani’s been trudging all the way down to Granite 5 days a week for the past 3 months to train with Roberts, a former Mr. Canada. Roberts uses electronic stimulation (e-stim to running shoes) to assist hearth up target muscle mass—and it’s a abnormal sensation. But Nanjiani is fully on board, soaking up milliamps and grinding out reps.
Before he met Roberts, Nanjiani was your common health club-goer, riding the stationary motorcycle to nowhere for 20 mins an afternoon. His workout routines draw from the bodybuilder playbook, and his trademark wit has been changed via a 1000-yard stare. It’s just one approach Roberts is deploying to catapult his customer onto the action-hero A-listing—a major jump for an actor who came to Hollywood after growing up in Pakistan and attending university in Iowa.
“When I’m workout, I’m no longer thinking about something else,” he says.“It’s like meditation.” That may be why Nanjiani’s pals “nearly staged an intervention” some months ago to get him out of the gym. The last component they want is a T-one thousand a twin of Nanjiani replacing Silicon Valley’s Dinesh. “Effort isn’t funny,” he says. “Several of my buddies have said, ‘There’s nothing humorous approximately a man who works out all of the time.’” Nanjiani doesn’t care. “I’m form of captivated with it.”
Even when he’s no longer established to diodes, Nanjiani thinks approximately the gymnasium. His weight loss program is so squeaky-smooth that Roberts has to nudge him to carb up on cheat day. The actor’s aim: slap 20 pounds of muscle onto his one hundred fifty-pound body. No joke.
But he insists he’s not turning his return on comedy; rather, he’s expanding his appearing variety. “Look at Bruce Willis in Die Hard,” he says. “He became very humorous at the same time as staying genuine to the tone of the film.” In the process, the TV lightweight became one of the heaviest hitters in Hollywood.
Nanjiani has his eyes on a similar prize. “If I were a large, buff man or woman with the same outlook I have now, that would be quite cool,” he says. “There aren’t many human beings round like that.