the $10 “supersuit” that ignited Iman Vellani's dreams - Upsmag - Magazine News

the $10 “supersuit” that ignited Iman Vellani’s dreams

In some respects, Spider-Man is a useful touchstone for Ms Marvel’s journey. In the past there has been a tendency to age-up younger superheroes into a kind of television-and-film-adulthood, perhaps because it was perceived as a better fit with a broader audience. The current Spider-Man franchise, starring Tom Holland, is the first in some time to give the character a teen-aged origin story and then gradually mature him on screen.

“I think it’s so realistic that a kid doesn’t know how to fight and talk to bad guys,” says Vellani. “Kamala doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do, but she knows she has powers. That she has to do good with them. I think our show does quite a good job in just like being corny, but also self-aware about that, the fact that it’s corny.

“Being a teenager, you go through so much, all your growing pains, and your break-ups, and friendships, and crushes, everything is so heightened,” Vellani adds. “Minor inconveniences feel like the end of the world because you haven’t really experienced a lot. You’re only like, what, 16? Everything’s so new and fragile. I think there’s still so much time, and kids don’t always realize that.”

The show’s high school setting gives it an easier way into that suite of emotions, Vellani says. “I’m still learning so much and feeling new feelings every day; high school is definitely no one’s peak, but it’s nice that our show gets to kind of appreciate the fact that this is high school,” she says. “And Kamala sees Carol Danvers, and she sees how she fights, and she’s like, oh, I’ve got to do that.”

Iman Vellani at the London premiere of Ms. marvelCredits:Getty Images

Vellani is only three years older than the fictional Kamala Khan. And Vellani is being wheeled out to the world’s media to promote a major title for the streaming platform owned by one of the world’s biggest content studios.

“I have opinions, and I have feelings, and I have thoughts, and I think all of our creatives at Marvel, they’ve really respected me and allowed me to be part of this collaborative process,” Vellani says. “I am so eternally grateful for them, [that they] just treat me like a real person. And I think it helps the story as well to bring a lot of myself and my experiences into the show. Because you know, it is written by 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds. It’s hard writing for 16-year-old kids.”

As an Italian-Australian, I point out to her that I have never met a Pakistani-Canadian. Our differences are obvious, but in some ways, I put to Vellani, perhaps our experiences are the same?

“Growing up, I didn’t care about it, it wasn’t something I would define myself as because I was like, no, I’m Canadian, I don’t remember Pakistan, I was born there, but I moved when I was one,” Vellani says. “It didn’t feel like a thing that I needed to say to people to define myself.

“Then, after doing the show and seeing so many talented writers, and producers, and creatives on our show coming from south Asian and Muslim backgrounds, and speaking Urdu on set, it was just so comforting,” Vellani says. “I think I got to experience a lot of Kamala’s self-discovery journey as well. And I think we’ve shared growing up together, and learning about our backgrounds, and our culture, and how much that means to people.”

Now, she says, she is very proud of her heritage. “I cannot wait to start talking about it more to people and let people know that their experiences are shared. I’m not the only Canadian-Pakistani girl. It’s important to showcase immigrant children who are proud of their culture, and don’t neglect it, which is how we see a lot of them in mainstream media.”

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Walking in the door for the first time, Vellani says, she was offered advice from every direction. “Literally, everyone gives me advice,” she says. “They kind of just see me as this little person they need to protect just because of how new I am, and how little experience I have.”

After she was cast, actress Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel in the MCU films, contacted her. “She She reached out and was like, we need to talk. And it was so freaky that I was on FaceTime with Brie Larson two days after I got cast,” Vellani says. “But she was so welcoming and encouraging. And even though she was already an Oscar winner, Marvel completely changed her life. And so I can’t even imagine what the next year is going to look like for me. But she’s really supported me.

“It can be lonely being on set and you feel a little insecure sometimes,” Vellani adds. “A lot of the stuff requires so much CGI. So even though it looks cool when you’re watching it on Disney+, in real life, I’m just going like, ugh, you look like a complete idiot. It’s very nice to have her reassurance of her experiences, and how uncomfortable her costume is. We were just sharing stories.”

Questions about the planned 2023 movie the Marvels are the sort which can lead to rapped knuckles, particularly when it comes to a spoiler-wary studio such as Disney-owned Marvel. At the same time, I put to Vellani, questions about it are inevitable, at least insofar as the commitment she is making to the character and the franchise, beyond the Ms. Marvel tv series.

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“This world is so larger than life that I can’t even begin to imagine where this character would go next,” she says. “I’ve seen it happen to Tom Holland, and to Chris Hemsworth, and where they started in their own little movie, compared to after doing Avengers: Endgame and working with every single actor ever. It’s insane, and I can’t even begin to put myself in their shoes, even though I subconsciously know that something like that hopefully will happen.”

Whenever she is with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, she says, she quizzes him. “I’m definitely like, Kevin, what are you working on? Can I see something?” she says. “But I try not to let it in my head too much, because this show is going to kick off this character for a lot of people who haven’t read the comics. So I think I just want to focus on that first and make sure this is as good as we can make it. And as many people are getting to see it as possible.”

Ms. Marvel is on Disney+ from Wednesday, June 8.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

In some respects, Spider-Man is a useful touchstone for Ms Marvel’s journey. In the past there has been a tendency to age-up younger superheroes into a kind of television-and-film-adulthood, perhaps because it was perceived as a better fit with a broader audience. The current Spider-Man franchise, starring Tom Holland, is the first in some time to give the character a teen-aged origin story and then gradually mature him on screen.

“I think it’s so realistic that a kid doesn’t know how to fight and talk to bad guys,” says Vellani. “Kamala doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do, but she knows she has powers. That she has to do good with them. I think our show does quite a good job in just like being corny, but also self-aware about that, the fact that it’s corny.

“Being a teenager, you go through so much, all your growing pains, and your break-ups, and friendships, and crushes, everything is so heightened,” Vellani adds. “Minor inconveniences feel like the end of the world because you haven’t really experienced a lot. You’re only like, what, 16? Everything’s so new and fragile. I think there’s still so much time, and kids don’t always realize that.”

The show’s high school setting gives it an easier way into that suite of emotions, Vellani says. “I’m still learning so much and feeling new feelings every day; high school is definitely no one’s peak, but it’s nice that our show gets to kind of appreciate the fact that this is high school,” she says. “And Kamala sees Carol Danvers, and she sees how she fights, and she’s like, oh, I’ve got to do that.”

Iman Vellani at the London premiere of Ms. marvelCredits:Getty Images

Vellani is only three years older than the fictional Kamala Khan. And Vellani is being wheeled out to the world’s media to promote a major title for the streaming platform owned by one of the world’s biggest content studios.

“I have opinions, and I have feelings, and I have thoughts, and I think all of our creatives at Marvel, they’ve really respected me and allowed me to be part of this collaborative process,” Vellani says. “I am so eternally grateful for them, [that they] just treat me like a real person. And I think it helps the story as well to bring a lot of myself and my experiences into the show. Because you know, it is written by 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds. It’s hard writing for 16-year-old kids.”

As an Italian-Australian, I point out to her that I have never met a Pakistani-Canadian. Our differences are obvious, but in some ways, I put to Vellani, perhaps our experiences are the same?

“Growing up, I didn’t care about it, it wasn’t something I would define myself as because I was like, no, I’m Canadian, I don’t remember Pakistan, I was born there, but I moved when I was one,” Vellani says. “It didn’t feel like a thing that I needed to say to people to define myself.

“Then, after doing the show and seeing so many talented writers, and producers, and creatives on our show coming from south Asian and Muslim backgrounds, and speaking Urdu on set, it was just so comforting,” Vellani says. “I think I got to experience a lot of Kamala’s self-discovery journey as well. And I think we’ve shared growing up together, and learning about our backgrounds, and our culture, and how much that means to people.”

Now, she says, she is very proud of her heritage. “I cannot wait to start talking about it more to people and let people know that their experiences are shared. I’m not the only Canadian-Pakistani girl. It’s important to showcase immigrant children who are proud of their culture, and don’t neglect it, which is how we see a lot of them in mainstream media.”

loading

Walking in the door for the first time, Vellani says, she was offered advice from every direction. “Literally, everyone gives me advice,” she says. “They kind of just see me as this little person they need to protect just because of how new I am, and how little experience I have.”

After she was cast, actress Brie Larson, who plays Captain Marvel in the MCU films, contacted her. “She She reached out and was like, we need to talk. And it was so freaky that I was on FaceTime with Brie Larson two days after I got cast,” Vellani says. “But she was so welcoming and encouraging. And even though she was already an Oscar winner, Marvel completely changed her life. And so I can’t even imagine what the next year is going to look like for me. But she’s really supported me.

“It can be lonely being on set and you feel a little insecure sometimes,” Vellani adds. “A lot of the stuff requires so much CGI. So even though it looks cool when you’re watching it on Disney+, in real life, I’m just going like, ugh, you look like a complete idiot. It’s very nice to have her reassurance of her experiences, and how uncomfortable her costume is. We were just sharing stories.”

Questions about the planned 2023 movie the Marvels are the sort which can lead to rapped knuckles, particularly when it comes to a spoiler-wary studio such as Disney-owned Marvel. At the same time, I put to Vellani, questions about it are inevitable, at least insofar as the commitment she is making to the character and the franchise, beyond the Ms. Marvel tv series.

loading

“This world is so larger than life that I can’t even begin to imagine where this character would go next,” she says. “I’ve seen it happen to Tom Holland, and to Chris Hemsworth, and where they started in their own little movie, compared to after doing Avengers: Endgame and working with every single actor ever. It’s insane, and I can’t even begin to put myself in their shoes, even though I subconsciously know that something like that hopefully will happen.”

Whenever she is with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, she says, she quizzes him. “I’m definitely like, Kevin, what are you working on? Can I see something?” she says. “But I try not to let it in my head too much, because this show is going to kick off this character for a lot of people who haven’t read the comics. So I think I just want to focus on that first and make sure this is as good as we can make it. And as many people are getting to see it as possible.”

Ms. Marvel is on Disney+ from Wednesday, June 8.

Find out the next TV, streaming series and movies to add to your must-sees. Get The Watchlist delivered every Thursday.

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