Mrs Miracle Star Iman Vellani, who cosplayed as the titular hero when she was youngerNow she is living out her childhood dream.
“I dream all the time,” she tells TVLine. “It’s the only thing I ever wanted in life and I’ve got it now and I don’t know what to do with myself.”
The Disney+ series is about Kamala Khan, an imaginative teenager who is obsessed with Captain Marvel and suddenly finds himself with superpowers. For Vellani, Kamala’s unexpected journey parallels her own.
“Kamala and I have been on a very similar journey,” explains the actress. “She got her powers and I got this role, it definitely went hand in hand, and just the whole journey of finding yourself and identity and reconnecting with your roots. I experienced so much and learned so much just to film the show.”
Ahead of the first episode, which airs this Wednesday, TVLine has reached out to the cast and crew to discuss what to expect in upcoming episodes and what it means to have a predominantly South Asian cast and crew on board.
Through the South Asian representation in Mrs Miracle…
IMAN VELLANI (KAMALA KHAN/MS. MARVEL) | Growing up, I felt disconnected from my culture. I was really dismissive of my Pakistani roots and my Muslima. I just didn’t think it was cool because I was so obsessed and in love with American pop culture and Hollywood and the two things just never went hand in hand. I didn’t like the Bollywood movies I watched as a kid and I just found it so embarrassing. And now I’m here in Hollywood working with a madman [number] of women and people of color and Muslims and South Asians and they are so in touch with their culture. It really made me appreciate that and see the beauty and see how cool these people are and they can be in touch with their culture and they can have the greatest jobs in the world. I can do that too.
MEERA MENON (DIRECTOR) | I was unprepared for how meaningful it would be to work with an all South Asian cast and tell a story that felt so similar not only to my story but to the story of so many people… Just being caught between two sets – the expectations that are placed on you and what you really want to do – that’s something I relate to and I think it’s what most people can relate to…dealing with that, a big, To have active imagination in a world that tells you something like, “Well, that’s not realistic.”
SANA AMANAT (WRITER/PRODUCER) | There was a shortcut for the way we communicated with each other. It was just very easy. We can be very honest and open with each other and just say, ‘Does that make sense? Is that going to be controversial or not?” I think that shorthand really helped make the whole process a lot smoother and more fun because we were able to throw in random South Asian music that only a few of us knew and we kind of got into and on to which we look forward to. It certainly helped that all of these different voices brought in their own authentic experiences.
On the change in how Kamala’s powers appear in the show compared to the comics…
ADIL EL ARBI (EP/DIRECTOR) | Kevin [Feige] wanted to make an adaptation of the powers, not a literal translation of the comics, and the producers were also looking for its place in the broader MCU, tied with other films and possibly other TV shows. It was only described in the script as “hard light”, so we developed it together with the producers and the VFX team. We really liked the powers of the comic, so we still wanted to relate to it. That’s why there’s a version with reinforced hands, just with that light effect you see in the pilot. They still have the body changing, which is also the story of teenagers whose bodies are changing. They have the same ideas about comics. Perhaps there is a variant of Kamala Khan in the multiverse that has the exact same powers. Who knows?
MENON | In Episode 2, we played with different ideas because we weren’t sure where we were going to end up. Since Episode 2 is very much about her finding out, it seemed like the right approach to us that we’d just try some stuff like her reaching out her hand and making all sorts of different gestures in different directions and having her trip over Throwing things away and slapping Bruno in the face with them… trying all these different things just to gather material that we’re going to be able to tell this story of a girl trying to figure this thing out because we were trying to figure it out .
On Kamala’s relationship with her family…
MOHAN KAPUR (YUSUF KHAN) | [Yusuf] is anything for anything she wants. Muneeba is the one who puts father and daughter on the trail. He just has crushes on his family and mostly on Kamala because she is the second child to happen after a very long break – Aamir is the first [child].
ZENOBIA SHROFF (MUNEEBA KHAN) | I find [Muneeba is] protects them from many things. She protects her from herself. Muneeba thinks she’s getting too caught up in this fantasy world, but then she protects her from other things I can’t tell you about.
SAAGAR SHAIKH (AAMIR KHAN) | Kamala is definitely a lot smarter than Aamir, but Aamir doesn’t think so. Aamir thinks, “Hey, I’m older, so I’m smarter.” He’s a lot more distant, and Kamala is really perceptive, so she knows how to play him. She knows how to say something to him and she knows what he will believe. He’s looking after her [and] wants to protect her, but she doesn’t need the protection. She’ll make him think he’s doing his job while he goes around out the back door doing whatever she wanted to do.
On Kamala’s relationship with her friends…
YASMEEN FLETCHER (NACIA) | To be able to play such a strong and vocal character [like Nakia] Being headstrong, not afraid to say so and being sarcastic and poking around with her friends and just being super sure about who she is is so important for Kamala to see and be more comfortable with herself on her journey. But hopefully as many young viewers get to see how a girl so young feels strong and confident and confident and how she presents herself. [It’s] It’s really an honour, but it’s extremely important and something I wish I’d seen as an adult.
MATT LINTZ (BRUNO) | [Bruno is] a genius: very smart, high IQ, and he lives on top of Circle Q. He has his little spot. It’s not the prettiest place. He has a pull-out bed with probably not the softest pillows, but he does have a workbench where he works on things. He’s an inventor. He loves doing stuff like that and anything to help the people he loves.
RISH SHAH (KAMRAN) | He’s definitely the new boy in town and immediately messes up all the dynamics and relationships [Kamala] has already. With Bruno, for example, when she needs to focus on her training and he comes in and gets along well with Kamala. You can relate to other people on a level that she didn’t have before when it comes to sharing their culture and being able to code switch with him and talk about Bollywood movies… It is a mystery to him. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
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