May 20

Issa Rae Is Extremely Jealous of Kumail Nanjiani’s Transformation


Issa Rae is proud of Kumail Nanjiani.

During her virtual visit to Late Night with Seth Meyers on Tuesday, the Insecure star recalled witnessing the early stages of her The Lovebirds‘ co-star’s shocking fitness transformation, admitting that she’s “extremely jealous” of his new physique.

“He had just started the journey,” she told host Seth Meyers. “And, to me, that’s heaven because I’m a fad diet-crash diet person, so I’m always doing something. So, to meet a guy who is just as food conscious as I was—that doesn’t mean I do well; I just like to try things. It’s nice to have an accountability partner. But he really just took it to another level and I’m extremely jealous of him.”

After unveiling his transformation on the cover of Men’s Health, Kumail opened up about the meal plan he followed to achieve his toned muscles for his upcoming role in Marvel’s The Eternals, which involved avoiding carbs and refined sugar for one year.

“You work out every day and you sort of learn to enjoy it. But the diet is the hardest thing,” he said during his visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live in January. “You know what my snack is? I get a bag or sugar snap peas and I eat them! That’s what I’ve been doing. At night, I’m like, ‘I’m a little hungry. I’m gonna treat myself. Crunch, crunch.'”

But according to the Silicon Valley alum, his muscles are just for show. “These muscles are decorative,” he told Conan O’Brien later that month. “They don’t do anything. They really don’t. [Wife] Emily [Gordon] will be like, ‘Can you open this jar for me?’ And I’m like, ‘Probably not.'”

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Switching gears, Issa also discussed working alongside the comedian in their Netflix comedy and shared that she wasn’t always comfortable around their animal sidekicks: “There was some fake horsery for our safety—for Kumail’s safety, you know, you see in the trailer, he gets kicked by a horse. And I made sure, when the real horse was there, that I kept distance from it.”

Earlier in the episode, The Photograph star opened up about how she has been faring while practicing social distancing and credited her routine with helping her get through each day. “That’s the only way that I’m surviving. I’m such a routine person in general, so this has been like heaven and hell simultaneously. So, as long as I keep that routine I’m alright.”

Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani

Steven Eloiseau/Shutterstock, Efren Landaos/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Comparing social distancing to the film Groundhog Day, Issa continued, “It is, like, you’re waking up with the same alarm every single day. Going to the same parts of your house. The only sad part is that there are consequences for my actions.”

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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