Everything that Iman Vellani said at the ‘Ms. Marvel’ Press Conference

Debuting exclusively on Disney+, Ms. Marvel is the latest Marvel Studios TV Series that is centered around Kamala Khan played by Iman Vellani, a Muslim American teenager. She like many teenagers is a massive fan of superheroes and one discovers that she has superpowers like the ones that she admires. We Live Entertainment was lucky enough to participate in the show’s virtual press conference with several members of the cast. With this show being the first of its kind to feature Muslim South Asian Actors in a leading roles, we wanted to highlight the star of the series and what she had to say about being part of this historic new chapter in the MCU.

Iman on how she got the role through WhatsApp 

“In February of 2020, I get the WhatsApp forward. I thought it was a scam. I don’t know what casting calls looked like but they are not white pages that say, “Ms. Marvel Disney+ and headshot and resume here.” Anyway, it turned out to be real and I sent in a very academic resume, plus the one photo I had of myself. And they sent back the slides for the self-tape. I knew exactly which comic books they pulled them from. And I was like, “okay this is real. I can’t do it.”  I was trying to make excuses for myself out of fear of failure. And at, like, 3:00 a.m. the night it was due, I sent in my self-tape. I was like, “my 10-year-old self is gonna hate me if I don’t even try.” And two days later I get a call. They’re like, “do you have a lawyer? We wanna fly you to LA.” And I was like, “I have a math test, but okay.” And next thing I know is that I’m in LA with my dad.  It was like the greatest trip of my life.  And I was fan-girling over Sarah Finn and Lewis D-Esposito.  And I wanted to take full advantage of being in that room, because I didn’t know if it was gonna happen again.  And yeah, then pandemic hit, and they sent me one email. And they were like, “Look, you’re very much in the running.  We just gotta figure some stuff out on our side.”  And I was like, “I gotta figure out university on my side.” Yeah, and then June 2020, sent in my last self-tape. And then we did a screen test over Zoom. And I got casted on the last day of high school.”

Iman on how it feels knowing that audiences will now be able to see her as Ms. Marvel

“Pretty good. [LAUGHS] I don’t know it’s just I’m still processing.  I don’t really feel anything.  It’s been a big part of my life before I even got casted, and so I’m just excited that people can finally, you know, see what I saw when I picked up those comics for the first time and fell in love with Kamala and her world. It’s so colorful, and just the fandom of it all, it’s truly a love letter to all the MCU fans, so I’m excited for their reaction.”

Iman on the music throughout the season

It is like bringing together worlds. The entire show is kind of about bringing together all the generations, we have old Pakistani, old Bollywood, and then modern-day pop music. And just it’s just bringing together a lot of people through music. My dad used to sing that song [Ko Ko Korina] to me when I was a kid. I was like, why is it so familiar? And then I remembered”

Iman on what makes Ms. Marvel so special

“I think Ms. Marvel always understood fan culture on such a cellular level, and it just really elevated the storytelling in a really unique way. She’s a 16-year-old kid with super powers, fine, we’ve seen that before. But she’s also a fan of every other hero within the MCU canon. And you know, that fascination and excitement is so shared with real-life Marvel fans, so that’s why we relate to her. You know? She reacts how we would when she gets powers. And so yeah, I love that part of her, and that’s why I fell in love with her. And culture and religion were never the main thing of her personality, it was just some part of her life. You know, how it was for me. It’s like, this is the time I wake up. This is the time I go to school.  This is the time I pray.  This is the time I eat.  Like, it’s just a set, a normal thing. And we didn’t wanna make the show about a Pakistani Muslim, it was about this Avengers loving, fanfic writing dork, who just so happens to be a Pakistani Muslim.  And yeah, I think we were balanced it quite well.”

Iman on the costume

Our wonderful costume designer, Arjun Bhasin had incorporated so many beautiful cultural prints into the fabric and then we have the dupatta, which is kind of a scarf. We did the first fitting in my trailer. The lightning bolt was even made out of a piece of paper. We were cutting it while it was on my body. Stitching it while it was on me. And so many people were in my trailer.  Everyone wanted to see what was happening. And then I walked to set, and I have my Sith Lord cape and no one could see what’s underneath.”

Iman on whose powers she would want if she could actually be a superhero in real life

“I’d keep it different, Professor X. I want telepathy and the ability to get inside a few people’s minds.”

The first two episodes of Ms. Marvel are now streaming on Disney+

Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott Menzel has been watching film and television since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by the films of Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associate's Degree in Marketing, a Bachelor's in Mass Media, Communications, and a Master's in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name change occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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