Iman Vellani, the actress cast as Marvel’s first Muslim superhero headliner, is excited to bring “an all-new diaspora of fans into the MCU.”
19-year-old Pakistani-Canadian actress Vellani to play Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel in the Disney Plus series Mrs. Marvelthe seventh television series in the MCU, which premiered on June 8.
Vellani told BBC’s Asian Network that she was looking forward to the reaction from fans, as so much of the story is about what it means to be a Marvel fan: “I’m excited to see their reaction. My whole family is in Pakistan. so excited.”
Of her character’s development, she revealed she was 17 when she was cast as 16-year-old Kamala:
“We had so many conversations, the directors and I, and we recorded so much of my real life and real-life experiences. I feel like I’ve lived Kamala’s life completely.”
Vellani’s British co-star Rish Shah plays Kamran, explaining that it felt unusually pleasant to be on set.
He told the BBC: “It’s not often that I go to a set where I felt like I belonged there, where you can blend in so naturally and people who are like us surround us on all fronts, whether that’s the crew is, the cast, the writer’s room.
“Unfortunately, that’s quite rare in the industry right now, but hopefully it will pave the way for more opportunities like this. It is a great privilege to be a part of that.”
When asked about the appeal of the show’s South Asian culture to a wider audience, Shah cited the worldwide success of Black Panther and reflected:
“Even if sometimes we don’t understand another culture, people are interested and want to learn about it.”
The series will consist of six episodes and will end on July 13. It is part of Phase Four of the MCU. It will serve as a setup for the movie the miraclesslated for release next year, in which Vellani will reprise her role as Khan along with other cast members from the series.