“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 [W 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 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 adds 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.”
He 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 him 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.”
Roberts, whose client list also includes Eva Longoria, Hilary Swank, America Ferrera, Scott Eastwood and Zachary Levi for whom he helped with his own stunning transformation for Shazam!, calls Nanjiani “fantastic” to work with.
“I'm so impressed by him. 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 the most recent Richard Jewell playing officer Will Jones. “I'm so disappointed,” Roberts says of the box office for the latter. “It's a really great movie. I think it just went out at the wrong time of year.”