Iman Vellani: MCU’s first Muslim superhero opens up about her role in Ms Marvel

Iman Vellani has opened up about starring in the titular role of Kamala Khan, who becomes Pakistani-American teen superhero Ms Marvel in the new coming-of-age show of the same name.

The 19-year-old actor has revealed that she feels “priviledged” Marvel “trusted” her with bringing a character like Kamala to life.

“There’s so much weight that comes with being the first of anything,” she told Variety.

Speaking of the advice the Marvel heads gave her, Vellani said: “They’re like, ‘You don’t go to work thinking that you’re the first Muslim superhero; you just go to work and have fun.’

“That’s what I keep telling myself: I don’t really have to go out of my way and advocate for Muslim and Pakistani representation,” she said. “This is one story of one girl. We cannot represent all two billion Muslims and South Asians, but this is definitely a good start.”

In the series, 16-year-old protagonist Kamala discovers her shapeshifting and self-healing powers, thanks to her magical bangle.

Iman Vellani and Matt Lintz in ‘Ms Marvel’

(Marvel Studios)

In his review, The Independent’s Nick Hilton gave Ms Marvel three out of five stars.

Ms Marvel is another tolerable entry in the studio’s ever-expanding roster of TV spin-offs,” he wrote. “While there are elements of the show’s visual kinetics that call to mind The Green Hornet and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Ms Marvel is clearly targeted at a younger audience than any of Marvel’s extant properties.”

After this series, Vellani will subsequently reprise her role as Ms Marvel in the 2023 Marvel Studios film The Marvels, which will serve as a sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Ms Marvel started streaming on 8 June on Disney Plus.

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