Being the first lead character in a MCU project who is both a Pakistani Muslim and a teenage girl was always going to come with a huge amount of pressure, as well as the predictable backlash from ‘fans’ who don’t like change and are more comfortable with white guys named Chris. But Iman Vellani, the 19-year-old star of Ms. Marvel (who was only 17 during filming) is taking it all in her stride.
In a recent interview with NME, Vellani was asked about the online trolls and haters; “It’s something we knew was going to happen going into this. It happened when the comic books came out in 2014. I’m all for constructive criticism as long as people have a legitimate concern or suggestion or something real. Then I care.”
“But all the hatred I’ve seen has no basis, no merit, it’s just purely for the sake of hating – and that’s fine. You’re not gonna impress everyone. We hit our target audience and we hit an entirely new audience that didn’t know they were gonna fall in love with this character – people who have never seen themselves represented in a positive light before.”
When asked about the review bombers, Vellani said; “I’m not on social media. I hear things that my mother tells me though. It’s honestly quite laughable and I think change is scary for a lot of people. And having a show that surrounds a 16-year-old girl who’s Pakistani and Muslim and a superhero is scary for a lot of people. I think this is just gonna rip the Band Aid off and hopefully people will fall in love with her.”
Vellani concluded by saying; “This show is for Marvel fans. If you’re a real Marvel fan, if any of those review bombers consider themselves a Marvel fan, then this show’s for them too. We wanted Ms. Marvel to be a love letter to Marvel fans. So yeah, I don’t care about them!”
Check out our guide to Marvel’s Phase 4.