Discussing her casting as Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus, Iman Vellani revealed the process bore some similarities to Peter Parker’s recruitment to the Avengers in the MCU.
Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan is the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s roster of heroes and, alongside the likes of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Xochitl Gomez’s America Chavez, is one of the younger heroes in the MCU. Stepping into one of the world’s largest ever TV and movie franchises as a teenager obviously brings with it its own set of challenges, some of which may be mirrored in the characters’ own journeys into the world of the Avengers.
One element of Iman Vellani’s experience in joining the MCU particularly echoed an iconic Peter Parker moment from Captain America: Civil War, in an on-brand moment of life imitating art.
When Captain America: Civil War introduced Spider-Man to the MCU, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark went to recruit the young hero to his Avengers team ahead of a confrontation with Captain America. When Tom Holland’s Peter Parker tells Tony he can’t accompany him on the assignment to Germany, Tony asks why and Peter responds “I… I got homework.” Tony tells him “I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that,” but Peter has honed in on what turns out to be a difficult part of life as a teenage superhero – for both the characters and the actors playing them.
Speaking about her role in the upcoming Ms. Marvel, Iman Vellani recently recounted the story of how she got the part. While Vellani, a Marvel superfan, stuns in the role of Kamala Khan in the series’ opening episodes, she almost never applied for it, believing the casting call to be a scam. However, after she decided to submit a last-minute self-tape, the people at Marvel expressed an interest in meeting her. When they asked her to come to L.A. though, Vellani’s immediate response was “I have a Math test!” Check out her Peter Parker-worthy story below:
“February 2020. I get the WhatsApp forward [from her Aunt, regarding the Ms. Marvel casting call]. I thought it was a scam. I don’t know what casting calls look like, but they are NOT white pages that say ‘Ms. Marvel, Disney Plus, send headshot and resume here!’ So, it turned out to be real.
“Yeah, I did it, and sent in a very academic resume, the one photo I had of myself and they sent back the sides for the self-tape and… I knew exactly which comic books they pulled them from. I was like, ‘Okay, this is real. I can’t do it.’ I was, like, making excuses for myself out of fear of failure. And at, like, 3 a.m. the night it was due, I sent in my self-tape. I was like, ‘My 10 year-old self is going to hate me if I don’t even try,’ and two days later I get a call. They were like, ‘Do you have a lawyer? We want to fly you to L.A.’ And I was like, ‘I have a Math test! But okay!’”
Luckily, Iman Vellani took up Marvel on their offer and, after a few more self-tapes and discussions, she landed the lead role in Ms. Marvel on her last day of high school. Hearing how her school work clashed with her entry to the MCU, in a way that was almost identical to Peter Parker’s homework woes in Civil War, is a fun reminder of Marvel’s commitment to portray “the world outside your window,” with heroes whose lives so closely resemble their real-world counterparts.
Here is the synopsis for the new MCU series:
Marvel Studios’ “Ms. Marvel” is a new, original series that introduces Kamala Khan, a Muslim American teenager growing up in Jersey City. An avid gamer and a voracious fan-fiction scribe, Kamala is a Super Hero mega fan with an oversized imagination—particularly when it comes to Captain Marvel. Yet Kamala feels like she doesn’t fit in at school and sometimes even at home—that is, until she gets super powers like the heroes she’s always looked up to. Life gets better with super powers, right?
The upcoming MCU series Ms. Marvel stars Iman Vellani, Aramis Knight, Saagar Shaikh, Rish Shah, Matt Lintz, Zenobia Shroff, Mohan Kapur, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, and Farhan Akhtar. Episodes of the series will be directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon, and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, with Bisha K. Ali serving as the head writer. Kevin Feige is involved in the series as an executive producer.
Ms. Marvel will hit Disney Plus on June 8th. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming Disney Plus series and its star Iman Vellani, and subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.