Mohan Kapur, who plays Kamala Khan’s father Yusuf in Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus, has talked about the beauty of the series, saying it’s not “shouting from the rooftops” when it comes to representation.
Ms. Marvel is a big moment for Marvel Studios. Not only does it bring to life an incredibly popular character from Marvel’s more recent comic book canon, but it introduces Marvel’s first Muslim Pakistani-American superhero in live-action. For Muslim fans and fans of Pakistani descent, this is obviously a positive step towards greater representation.
However, while speaking about the series, Mohan Kapur said he does not feel Ms. Marvel is making a political statement. Rather, the series is simply telling the story of Kamala and her family, who happen to come from a Pakistani Muslim background, making the representation all the more genuine and the story all the more heartfelt.
‘A Story Of One Family’
While discussing Ms. Marvel, Mohan Kapur, who is originally from India, said he felt the series sends a wonderful message for people from South Asian backgrounds and expressed hopes that it would boost the diversity of the stories being told by Hollywood. What Kapur made clear though was that he feels Ms. Marvel‘s representation of the culture of South Asian migrant families in America was by no means tokenistic or politically driven, but an organic component of the fabric of the story.
Speaking at the Ms. Marvel press conference, Kapur said:
“I don’t think this series is shouting from the rooftops, saying ‘watch me, talking about representation.’ It’s a wonderful story of a community that’s so ethnically diverse and culturally rich and for me, coming from that region, I think it’s a fabulous up, because we suddenly say, ‘This is the Marvel Universe telling a story about our milieu.’ And it’s so beautifully and so subliminally translated over scenes, you know? […] And I’m sure that – I know this for a fact, from whatever little social media that I’m into – that side of the world is… they just can’t wait to see this happen. They say, ‘This is- This is us! This is us!’
“Now… if Marvel could run this juggernaut, it’s a big thing for the rest of the world and the other production houses to say, ‘If they could do it, they knew what they’re talking about, let us do it.’ And it’s going to be a roller coaster from here on, hopefully for the actors, for writers, directors, the entire caboodle to sit up and say, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s show their story and not shout from the rooftops.’
“This is not a political statement. This is the story of one family. One girl. But it’s so beautiful. It’s the story of a family in a land that’s not their own, but they’ve called it their home. And that’s beautiful.”
Mohan Kapur’s words prompted an immediate outpouring of astonishment and appreciation from the rest of the cast and crew at the Ms. Marvel press conference and it’s not hard to see why. The actor quickly keyed into why he felt the series is so important for viewers from South Asian backgrounds. It is not a hollow political statement, but a story from one of the biggest production companies in the world that just so happens to take place in a culture that has not received this kind of representation before.
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?
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 were directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah, Meera Menon and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, with Bisha K. Ali serving as the head writer. Marvel’s Kevin Feige is involved in the series as an executive producer.
Ms. Marvel hits Disney Plus on June 8th. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the Disney Plus series and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more original video content.