Iman Vellani: Character of Ms Marvel not just about race or religion

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Iman Vellani: Character of Ms Marvel not just about race or religion
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Iman Vellani says the character of Ms Marvel was not meant to be solely about her race or religion but relatable to “real-life Marvel fans”.

The teenager, who plays the eponymous title role in the new miniseries, said the character would “react how we would when she gets powers”.

Ms Marvel is the first Muslim superhero character in the Marvel Comic Universe (MCU) and the series is due to air on Disney+ on June 8.

It follows Kamala Khan, a US teenager with an oversized imagination, who loves gaming and writing fanfiction about her super-idols.

Asked why her character was a special addition to the MCU, Vellani said: “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 superpowers, fine, we’ve seen that before, but she’s also a fan of every other hero within the MCU canon and that fascination and excitement is so shared with real-life Marvel fans.

LA Premiere of “Ms. Marvel”
Ms Marvel is the first Muslim superhero character in the Marvel Comic Universe and the series is due to air on Disney+ on June 8 (Jordan Strauss/AP)

“That’s why we relate to her, she reacts how we would when she gets powers. I just love that part of her and that’s why I fell in love with her.”

She added: “Culture and religion are never the main thing of her personality, it was just some part of her life.

“(Like) how it was for me; 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, it was just a normal thing.

Ms Marvel – Marvel Studios
The series follows Kamala Khan, a US teenager with an oversized imagination, who loves gaming and writing fanfiction about her super-idols (Disney/Marvel/PA)

“We didn’t want to make the show about a Pakistani Muslim, it was about, you know, an Avengers-loving, fanfic-writing dork, that just so happens to be a Pakistani Muslim.

“I think we balanced it quite well all around.”

Ms Marvel also stars Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Zenobia Shroff and Mohan Kapur.

Matt Lintz, Yasmeen Fletcher, Laith Nakli, Azhar Usman, Travina Springer and Nimra Bucha are also part of the cast.

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