The Actor | Iman Vellani
Iman Vellani turned into an instant household name this year as the barrier-breaking Kamala Khan in new MCU series Ms. Marvel. Vellani made headlines as the first Muslim superhero and first Pakistani superhero in the Marvel universe, along with being the youngest character in the Marvel universe. The young Markham actor has spoken about hearing from fans who are so grateful to her for representing the Muslim community on screen, and we couldn’t be prouder.
By Xóchitl Gomez, Marvel actor
Iman and I both work in the Marvel Universe and our producer, Victoria Alonso, connected us when we were both shooting scenes for Doctor Strange. We are both very proud to be part of the next wave of Marvel superheroes. Every time I see fans connecting with Ms. Marvel, I feel so proud because I know what that means for young Muslim people to see themselves onscreen and portrayed in a positive way, and Iman is the perfect person to be that role model. I see first-hand how important my character, America Chavez, is as a representative for the Latino and queer communities. Iman and I both have the same experience of fans coming up to us literally shaking with joy because they are so happy that someone who looks like them and shares a similar cultural background is an onscreen superhero. It’s moments like that when you realize what a big deal it is that we are there in these roles, helping brown people be seen in mainstream entertainment. Much like her onscreen character, Iman has incredible courage when facing the unknown. Without film credits to her name, Iman took the leap of faith and answered a random casting call. She went all-in, believing in herself despite the odds not being in her favour and rising to the challenge to bring Kamala Khan to life. Young women like Iman are the modern role models we all are looking for. We are enough and our stories matter.
See our full list of Toronto’s most inspiring women of 2022 here.