‘Ms. Marvel ‘Team Talk Cast Tattoos, Muslim Superhero Representation – The Hollywood Reporter

Iman Vellani ice Kamala Khan. Or at least that’s what everyone on the Ms. Marvel team has to say about her.

Like her character, the 19-year-old Pakistan-born Canadian is a comic book super fan. While Kamala dreams of one day becoming a real-life Avenger, Vellani herself has followed a similar path, being a long-standing comic lover turned Marvel Cinematic Universe star.

“Kamala is 16, she’s obsessed with the Avengers and that’s her passion,” Vellani told The Hollywood Reporter at the show’s Hollywood premiere on Thursday. “I think it’s so important that kids follow their passion and explore it and just learn about themselves in the process. That’s what happened to me, and look where that got me. If I had never been obsessed with Marvel or comic books, I would literally not be here. ”

She continued, “Marvel was the only thing I ever talked about growing up and [my friends] would just kind of have to listen to me, just wave me off. And now they actually have to listen to me and they can not avoid it. ”

The series follows Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American girl growing up in Jersey City. She’s an artist, a gamer, a fan-fiction writer and, above all, an Avengers fangirl. More specifically, Kamala loves Carol Danvers, more widely known by her superhero alias of Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson in the MCU). She lives a normal teenage life, that is until she comes into powers that allow her to harness cosmic energy.

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Iman Vellani attends the premiere for Disney + and Marvel’s’ Ms. Marvel ‘at El Capitan Theater.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

“I think now is the time to have movies and TV shows that represent the fandom,” said executive producer and director Adil El Arbi. “The fandom is very diverse, and they make Marvel great. And to have Iman Vellani – she’s a big big fan of Marvel and Iron Man is her favorite movie – and to have a character that resembles her, that’s very important. ” El Arbi produces and directs alongside his creative partner Bilall Fallah. The filmmaking duo are also set to direct upcoming DC superhero film Batgirl.

“[Iman] will make you laugh. She will take you on this adventure. And she will make you believe that you just have to believe in yourself that you can be a superhero, and that anyone can, ”said director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who helmed three episodes in the series, about Vellani’s performance in the show.

Ms. Marvel is the first-ever Pakistani superhero in the MCU, and she was also the first Muslim hero to headline her own Marvel comic. As Marvel pushes well into Phase 4 of its new slate of content, the creators behind Ms. Marvel say that now is the perfect time to introduce Kamala Khan into the storyline.

“We’re finally beginning to believe that superheroes come in all shapes and forms, all colors and sizes,” said Obaid-Chinoy. “And that it’s important to tell a story, which resonates with a global audience. To birth a superhero that so many young people growing up around the world can see a reflection of themselves in. ”.

“The intention was to make it feel real and honest,” added series executive producer Saman Amanat, a Marvel veteran who co-created the Ms. Marvel character and comic. “I think that’s why it works. It’s because we did not really force it, we did not educate people. We were not talking like: ‘This is what it is to be Muslim.’ It’s like, ‘This is what it is. That’s it. There’s nothing else, you know? ‘”

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Disney + and Marvel’s new Television Series’ Ms. Marvel ‘premieres at El Capitan Theater.
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Along the journey of bringing the show to life, the cast and crew fostered such a close bond that some of them even got matching tattoos to commemorate the experience. Many of the cast and crew were sporting their Ms. Marvel lightning bolt tattoos on the red carpet.

“The level of connection that we feel with one another so instantaneously – it’s irreplaceable,” said actress Laurel Marsden, who plays Zoe Zimmer. “We are best friends, we talk all the time, and we hang out all the time. The tattoo was not only to commemorate our friendship and our bond, but also just such a milestone in our lives and our careers that we were all just so excited to remember forever. ”

“I said I would only get a tattoo of my kid’s name,” added Laith Nakli, who plays Kamala’s religious mentor Sheikh Abdullah. “[And now], a bunch of 17, 18 year olds made me get a tattoo. We all got matching tattoos… That’s how much I love those kids. And that’s a testament to how much I bonded with them in such a short period of time. It was fantastic. ”

He continued, “It’s a big moment for everyone. My nieces, my nephews, my cousins, my family overseas in Syria, all these kids are going to be able to see this and they’re going to be seeing people like them. It’s a big thing. ”

“I came to this country 30 years ago, and I was told to change my name and white pass. Get an American accent, ”said actress Zenobia Shroff, who plays Muneeba Khan, mother of Kamala. “It was so far from anything like now. So for this to have happened, it’s groundbreaking. It’s phenomenal. America is not a white country. And the populace has to reflect the art and vice versa. ”

Other Marvel stars like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘Xochitl Gomez, Eternals‘Lia McHugh and The Falcon and Winter Soldier actor Danny Ramirez were also in attendance to support their fellow MCU family.

Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney + on June 8.

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(LR) Travina Springer, Saagar Shaikh, Mohan Kapoor, Zenobia Shroff, Iman Vellani, Matthew Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Rish Shah and Laurel Marsden attend the ‘Ms. Marvel ‘launch event at El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California on June 02, 2022.
Jesse Grant / Getty Images for Disney

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