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These Stars Have Zero Self Awareness

Kumail Nanjiani, Will Wheaton and Dakota Johnson's woes fall flat for everyday Americans

Everything is relative.

An unexpected car repair bill means nothing to Bill Gates. A blue-collar mom working two jobs? That’s another story.

So consumers might greet headlines about their favorite star or singer with a shrug. It’s hard to get worked up over pay disparities in Hollywood, for example, when the actresses in question make more than Joe or Jane Sixpack earns in a decade.

Maybe two.

It still matters, but the average person’s well of sympathy isn’t deep.

What three celebrities said this week falls squarely in this category. The big difference? The lack of self-awareness in each dispiriting case.

Actor/comedian Kumail Nanjiani landed a plum gig in an MCU film three years ago. He played Kingo in “Eternals,” a film that drew withering reviews and fan antipathy. Nanjiani tortured himself by reading said reviews, and it left him traumatized, he told podcaster Michael Rosenbaum on his “Inside You” podcast show.

“It was really hard, and that was when I thought it was unfair to me and unfair to [my wife] Emily, and I can’t approach my work this way any more. Some s*** has to change, so I started counselling. I still talk to my therapist about that.

“Emily says that I do have trauma from it.”

Nanjiani likely earned a sweet paycheck for the gig. He also worked out extensively for the role, and the press fawned over his “thirst trap”-style photos as a result.

He also continues to find steady work, including a voice role in “Migration” and a part in “Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.”

Can anyone relate to his pain, his trauma? Hardly. Fellow actors routinely face harsh reviews, from those with small pages to the biggest stars in Hollywood.

It happens. Calling it “trauma” shows a complete lack of self-awareness.

Nanjiani’s comments paled in comparison to what “Star Trek: The Next Generation” alum Wil Wheaton shared this week. The star, now 51, raged against “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David for comically choking Elmo the puppet on television.

Wheaton took to his Facebook page to savage David for the impromptu shtick.

“What a stupid, self-centered, tone deaf a–hole … all the time, when I was growing up, my dad would grab me by the shoulders and shake me while he screamed in my face. He choked me more than once. He was always out of control, always in a furious rage, and always terrifying. I’m a 51 year-old man and my heart is pounding right now, recalling how I felt when I was a little boy who loved Grover the way today’s kids love Elmo.”

It’s terrible what Wheaton allegedly suffered at the hands of his father. Doesn’t he realize how foolish he looks comparing it to a 70-something comic’s interaction with a puppet?

Apparently not.

Social media heaped scorn on Wheaton, of course, which probably made matters worse for him.

And then there’s Dakota Johnson.

The star of the upcoming “Madame Web” is complaining about a gig that happened a decade ago.

Johnson appeared in the final episode of NBC’s “The Office,” a noteworthy moment for any star given the show’s beloved status. Except her role proved brief in the episode, and the plan for her to join a potential “Office” spinoff never materialized.

“That was honestly the worst time of my life,” Johnson shared with a laugh. “I love that show so much, and they were like, ‘Do you want to be in the series finale?’ and I was like, ‘Of course,’ thinking that I’d show up for, like, half a day. I was there for two weeks and I’m barely in the f—ing show.”

At least she had the ability to laugh at her over-the-top comments, suggesting a glimmer of self-awareness. She could give Nanjiani and Wheaton a tip on that front.


  1. Meanwhile Jeremy Reiner gets crushed by a plow, almost dies, and he’s all smiles and ready to get back to work. Being insulated from reality really weakens a person’s psyche.

    1. Jeremy is a far better actor and person than at least 99% of “Hollyweird” – and I am pressed to identify the 1% that outshines him.

      1. I don’t have a problem with Renner, but I’ve never understood why the Hurt Locker got so much praise. I thought it was a totally average movie. It wasn’t that interesting or exciting, but the critics couldn’t heap enough praise on it, as if they were all being instructed to.

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