Ms. marvel Actress Iman Fellaini, who played the titular hero When she was youngerNow she finds herself living her childhood dream.
“I’m constantly dreaming,” she told TVLine. “It’s the one thing I’ve ever wanted in my life, and I have it now, and I don’t know what to do with myself.”
The Disney+ series follows Kamala Khan, a fictional teen obsessed with Captain Marvel who suddenly finds herself endowed with superpowers. For Vilani, Kamala’s unexpected journey parallels her own.
“Kamala we went on a very similar journey,” the actress explains. “She got her strength and I in getting that part definitely went hand in hand, and just the whole journey of self-discovery and identity and reconnecting with your roots. I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot just by filming the show.”
Ahead of the first episode, which drops Wednesday, TVLine hit up the cast and crew to discuss what to expect in upcoming episodes and what it means to have a mostly South Asian cast and crew on board.
To represent South Asia in Ms. marvel…
Iman Vilani (Kamala Khan / MS. Marvel) | I felt disconnected from my culture while growing up. I was really dismissive of my Pakistani roots and being a Muslim. I didn’t think it was cool because I was obsessed with and fond of American pop culture and Hollywood, and those two things didn’t go hand in hand. I didn’t like the Bollywood movies I was watching when I was growing up, and I thought they were too embarrassing. And now, I’m here in Hollywood, working with crazy [number] From women, people of color, Muslims and South Asia, they are in close contact with their culture. It really made me appreciate it so much and seeing the beauty and seeing how amazing these people are, they can be in touch with their culture, they can have the greatest jobs in the world. I can do that too.
Mira Menon (Director) | I wasn’t prepared for how important it was to work with an all-South Asian cast and tell a story that felt so similar to not only my own, but the story of so many people… just getting caught between two groups – the expectation you’re set, and the thing you really want to do – that’s something I relate to it, and I think it’s the thing that most people can relate to… dealing with having a big, active imagination in a world that tells you, “Well, that’s unreal.”
Sana’a Amanat (Writer / Producer) | There was a shortcut to the way we were communicating with each other. It was very easy. We can be very honest and candid with each other and say, “Does this make sense? Is this going to be controversial or not?” I think shorthand is the thing that really helped make the whole process smoother and more fun because we can throw in some random South Asian music that Only some of us knew her and we got in and we’re really excited about her. It certainly helped to make all these different voices bring their own authentic experiences to the table.
On changing how Kamala’s powers appear in the show compared to the comics…
Fair Arabia Exhibition (EP / Director) | Kevin [Feige] She wanted a power-up, not a literal translation of the comic books, and the producers were also looking for her place in the broader MCU, linked to other films and possibly other TV shows. In the script, it’s described as a “hard light,” so we developed it with the producers and visual effects team. We liked the powers of comedy a lot, so we still wanted a nod. That’s why there’s a version with pressed hands, just so with the light effect you see in the pilot. Your body is still changing, and it’s also the story of teens whose bodies change. You have the same comic book ideas. Perhaps there is a different type of Kamala Khan in the multiverse that has the exact same powers. Who do you know?
Menon | In Episode 2, we played with different ideas because we weren’t sure where we were going to land. Since episode 2 is about her figuring it out, it just felt like the right way, that we were going to try a bunch of things, like getting her to release her hand and do all kinds of different gestures in different directions and trip over things and hit Bruno in the face… trying all these different things to collect The material with which to tell the story of a girl trying to figure out this thing, because we were trying to figure it out.
On Kamala’s relationship with her family…
Mohan Kapoor (Yusuf Khan) | [Yusuf] It is everything you want. It is Muniba that puts father and daughter on the right path. He just loves his family, mainly on Kamala because she is the second child that happened after a very long gap – Aamir was the first [child].
Zenobia Shroff (Muniba Khan) | I suspect [Muneeba is] It protects her from a lot of things. She protects her from herself. Muniba thinks she lives in this fantasy world a lot, but then she protects her from other things that I can’t tell you.
Sagar Sheikh (Aamir Khan) | Kamala is definitely much smarter than Aamir, but Aamir can’t believe it. Aamir thinks, “Hi, I’m older, so I’m smarter.” It’s elusive, and Kamala is really sharp, and so she knows how to play it. She knows how to tell him something, and she knows what he’s going to believe. he cares about her [and] You want to protect her, but she doesn’t need protection. You’ll let him believe he’s doing his job while he’s walking out the back door and doing whatever you want him to do.
On Kamala’s relationship with her friends…
Jasmine Fletcher (Nakia) | The ability to play such a strong and vocal character [like Nakia] Who has an opinion, and is not afraid to say it, be sarcastic and touch with her friends and be absolutely sure who is very important to Kamala to see her on her journey and feel more comfortable with herself. But also, hoping that a lot of younger viewers will see such a little girl feeling strong, confident in herself, and confident in the way she presents herself. [It’s] Really an honour, but it’s so important and something I wish I could watch as I grew up.
Matt Lintz (Bruno) | [Bruno is] Genius: Very smart, high IQ, he lives on top of circle Q. He’s earned his petite stature. It’s not the prettiest spot. He has a rollaway bed with pillows maybe not the softest, but he does have a workbench where he works on things. He is an inventor. He loves doing that kind of thing and anything to help the people he loves.
Rich Shah (Qumran) | He’s definitely the new kid in town and instantly shakes up all the dynamics and relationships that [Kamala] has it before. With Bruno, for example, when she was supposed to focus on her training, he comes and hits her with Kamala. They can bond on a level like never before with other people when it comes to sharing her culture and being able to code-switch with him and talk about Bollywood movies…there is a mystery to him. We have to wait and see where it goes from there.
Are you looking forward to Ms. marvel? What do you hope to see on the show? Sound out in the comments below.