When Disney+ releases six episodes of “Ms. Marvel” this summer, POPSUGAR features exclusive interviews with the cast and creators about bringing the show to life. This week, star Iman Vellani chatted with POPSUGAR about episode six, “No Normal.”
The finale of “Ms. Marvel” ended with a scene that had some major impacts on the MCU. Iman Vellani, who plays Kamala Khan, told POPSUGAR that this was actually the hardest shot for her in the whole series. “The amount we see is the only legal amount we get because every time Matt [Lintz] When I said that, I started giggling with excitement,” she said. I can’t believe we’re saying this word. “
Even now, Vellani is hesitant to use the word: mutant. In Marvel, mutant means mutant and mutant means X-Men, and there have been no mutants in the MCU so far. Did Bruno (Lintz) really mean mutation type when you say mutation? Or is it just a spoof, another moment in a long line of MCU false hints about the X-Men? “I think officially I can say… yes?” Velani said. “It was so crazy that we even allowed this to happen.”
“I’m a huge fan of the X-Men and it’s an honor to be the first official mutant in the MCU.”
“Honestly I am very, very glad we went down this path,” she said of Kamala’s change of origin. “I’m a huge fan of the X-Men and it’s an honor to be the first official mutant in the MCU. Anyway, the original purpose of the comic book character was to turn her into a mutant, but because comic book politics at the time, that never happened.” Vellani said that she and producer Sana Amanat, who also created Kamala, “crossed the moon” that they had to change the origin. by Kamala here.
While the show was filming in Atlanta, Vellani met her MCU actors Tom Holland and Tom Hiddleston, but that almost didn’t happen. “Ms. Marvel” shot at the same time that season one of “Loki” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” were filming on adjacent sets, but because of COVID-19 restrictions, Vellani couldn’t come back and say Hi . She said: “It was kind of weird filming, knowing these incredible actors were just a leg away from you, but we weren’t really allowed to mingle.
“However, Marvel’s security guy, Barry Curtis, one of the coolest human beings ever, really loves young actors getting together,” she said. “And so he found a way for me to meet Tom Hiddleston and Tom Holland, and they’re both amazing people.” Vellani previously revealed to Elite Daily that when she met Holland, he spoiled Tobey Maguire’s appearance in “No Way Home” for her.
When Velllani was cast, she said the first person to contact was Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel. “We just had a very lovely chat over FaceTime. And now that I’m working with her, it’s just crazy,” she said. “Every single person I met at Marvel was greeted with great enthusiasm.” Being an actor in the MCU, she explained, is her own unique experience, and that she went “from 0 to 100”, because “Ms. Marvel” was her first major acting job. The other actors have been a great resource for her.
If you know anything about Velllani, you know she’s a super fan of Marvel, and her love for the series runs through the six episodes of “Ms. Marvel”. Her favorite day on set was when they shot AvengerCon for episode one. Kamala and Bruno attend a fake Avengers fan festival, and Vellani, who has never attended a real or fake fan convention before, has a blast. It was one of the last scenes they filmed in Atlanta and Vellani stole a bunch of merchandise from the set. “On the last day, I said goodbye to everyone, and my assistant was packing the bags and then we moved everything home,” she said.
Vellani is excited to be on the set of “Ms. Marvel”. “It was like I was in a comic book,” she said. She loves Kamala’s bedroom art and how bright Circle Q comes to life. There are also small details that she thinks viewers might not even see, such as a bit of Iron Man perfume on Kamala’s wardrobe.
But the show, for all its comic book gloss, isn’t afraid to explore real-life issues either. One of the most meaningful parts of the experience for Vellani was learning more about the Partition of Pakistan and India, which the show’s creative team wrote right into the plot. Episodes 4 and 5 see Kamala travel back in time to the time of the mass migration. Vellani called the scenes “very emotionally traumatic.” “Honestly we just want to be as honest as possible,” she said. She credits episodes four and five director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for helping them bring nuance to their performance.
Vellani says she’d heard of Partition growing up, but it’s not something her family has never talked about publicly — until the gig. “There’s a lot of intergenerational trauma that just comes with talking about Partition, and I’m really, really happy that we can open up these conversations,” she said.
“It’s crazy to see so many people don’t even know what Partitions are,” she said. They held lessons on set to educate the cast and crew. There was also the physical damage of those scenes. “We had 200 more COVID engagements in Thailand, in the middle of the night, and the heat was insane,” she said. But in the end, bringing this story to the MCU was worth it for Vellani.
Vellani also noted that the show’s emotional core revolves around the relationship between mothers and their children – not only Kamala and her mother Muneeba (Zenobia Shroff), but also Muneeba and her mother Sana (Samina Ahmad) and Kamran (Rish Shah) and his mother Najma (Nimra Bucha). “I’m really glad we can even have that scene in the bathroom where Muneeba tells Kamala how hard it was for her to just pack up her life and move to another country, with other people and just adapt and find space for them,” she said. For Kamala’s parents, things in America started to fall into place when they found their community at their Jersey City mosque, and Vellani says her parents had a very similar experience. each other when they moved to Canada. “It’s a very, very popular story among South Asian families, so it’s great that we’ve shown it,” she said.
It’s not just the conversation between Kamala and Muneeba that reminds Vellani of her mother, but also the location. “I spent most of my time with my mom in the bathroom or sitting on the floor in my bedroom, just connecting,” she says. Vellani has a very close relationship with his biological mother; she even sent it to the actor a meme about Kamala picking up boys like the Infinity Stones. “I giggle that she even knows what a meme is,” she said.
So, is it Team Vellani Bruno, Team Kamran, or Team Kareem (Knight of Aramis)? “I think people deserve it,” she said, though she admits that the comic book version of Bruno is “her favorite person ever.” “But then, I fell in love with Kamran because he came from a very similar background to Kamala. And how rarely do you see two brown people dating in Hollywood?” she speaks. “Kamala has time. She needs to get to know herself before these guys come into her life.”
As a longtime fan, one of the most surprising parts of being in the MCU for Velllani was learning how Not planned a lot of Marvel moments. “I thought, ‘Oh, Marvel has stuff that happened 10 years ago,'” she said. “And then we would have little problems on set and be like, ‘Oh, this is a very human-run production, made for other human beings.” “And, of course, now she’s the one with all the secrets she can’t spill, but she says it’s not hard to keep her lips closed.” Honestly, I am honored to keep these secrets. It’s all you could want,” she said. “I just imagine Robert Downey Jr is the only person who’s ever read the entire ‘Endgame’ script. It’s flexible.”
Next, Kamala will return in “The Marvels” in 2022 alongside Larson’s Carol Danvers and Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau. The “Ms. Marvel” ending credits scene seems to set up the beginning of that movie, but Velllani is, of course, light on details. “I can say that it’s going to have Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau. And they’re going to be a really fun, exciting team that we haven’t seen in the MCU,” she said. “Also, Nia DaCosta, our director, is one of the most incredible human beings ever. She’s really always looking for nuance in all of our shots and things. that’s been really helpful as an actress. I’m glad people see what she’s put on the scale because I think she has a really unique voice.”
There is one more secret that Vellani is keeping. Yasmeen Fletcher told POPSUGAR in June that a bunch of “Ms. Marvel” actors got matching lightning tattoos to celebrate their work on the series. Will Vellani participate? “Maybe,” was all she said. Yes, she’s good at keeping secrets.
All six episodes of “Ms. Marvel” are currently streaming on Disney+.
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