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Who is Iman Vellani? Ms. Marvel actor talks about playing Kamala Khan


Charm: So, what will you be doing when the show premieres? Do you have something planned?

Iman Velani: Yes, we return to additional photography for Wonders. So it will still work.

Will you take the time to celebrate or mark it as a big day?

Oh my God, I think we’ve already celebrated as a cast, but it’s going to be weird. We’re all going to be separated when the show comes out, which I kinda suck at. Everyone is super supportive and I hope we see each other again soon because it’s a great group of people who worked on the show, honestly.

I read that you were with friends when you found out you booked the show and celebrated with burritos.

My friends didn’t even know I auditioned. I got the role in front of them, and they were super confused.

How did you feel at that time? What went through your head?

I didn’t feel anything. I could not believe it. I was extremely shocked and just felt numb, honestly. It’s the greatest thing of all time because my whole life is Marvel and now I’m in it. It’s just really surreal because you can’t even…it’s so unreachable. All my family and friends, I didn’t know anyone who was in the arts or in the industry or whatever, and now I’m in it. I can’t really believe it.

With Marvel being such a big franchise and you’re running your own show there, has anyone given you any advice or helped you prepare for this new platform that’s coming?

Brie Larson was actually the first person to contact me after being cast, a few days later. It’s so nice to talk with her because even though she was already an established actress, Marvel completely changed her life and her fan base. The amount of attention this franchise gives you is absolutely incomparable to anything else. This next year is going to be really crazy and hectic for me. It’s really great that she mentally prepares me for this and shares her experiences and what helps her through it all.

In preparing for this role, what did you want to bring to the character? Was there anything you wanted to do to show your perspective on this part?

Honestly, I didn’t do much prep for my self-cassette. I did it at three in the morning and I was super tired and just wanted to get it over with. But then they gave me a second chance. I just wanted to bring myself, really. I just felt like I knew this character, like the back of my hand. I felt like I was living his life. I felt like the comics were written about me. So because I felt close to the source material, I found it very easy to allow myself to put myself fully into the role and believe it was the right thing to do. Honestly, I was super encouraged by the folks at Marvel. They were saying, “Listen, don’t do any preparation. Just read the lines as you would read them because we want Iman Vellani and that’s it.” So that was very helpful for me to hear.

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