Ms. Marvel has paved the way for immigrant kids, says Nimra Bucha on representation in the show
This article contains spoilers from Ms. Marvel
The desi community is uniting over its love for Ms. Marvel and Iman Vellani who plays the first Muslim superhero in the MCU. And as Pakistanis, seeing our own stars in the show has us super proud and excited. Episode 2 saw the introduction of our very own Nimra Bucha and Samina Ahmed.
Bucha spilled the beans on her character in an interview to BBC Urdu. Despite theories that Bucha may be playing an immortal Aisha, Kamala's great-grandmother, Bucha revealed that she is playing Najma, Kamran's (Rish Shah) mother in the show.
The actor said her character is "interesting" and gets revealed slowly and gradually, for which one has to wait for the rest of the episodes. "What I can say is this standard line of mine that in Ms. Marvel I'm playing the role of Najma. She's always near Ms Marvel, now the question is, how does a person become so close?"
She was also asked about the rumour that Najma is supposedly the antagonist of the show. "Not everyone is a villain completely. Some people appear to be villains but they have big hearts and some people look good on the outside but they are black-hearted," she said, hinting that there might be some upheavals in the upcoming episodes.
Bucha also revealed that each character in the series has "weird codes" and is somehow linked with one another, so nothing shown in the show is without meaning. She agreed that Najma is also linked and reminded viewers of the meaning of the name Najma in Arabic, which is "star".
In the interview Bucha admitted that she never thought about what Ms. Marvel is going to be about prior to filming and getting to work with everyone. "I never thought about Ms. Marvel when I had auditioned, not for this part but something else but of course they don't tell you everything. Like in other projects you have the experience of six months in which you have read the script, you start rehearsing, you know everything about your character and you create that character. So in Ms. Marvel, in comparison, there was that secrecy element. I didn't know what was going to happen. So this was something very new for me, to not know what you're going to do."
She also said that not knowing what she has to do in the show lead to her questioning her purpose and whether she is capable of playing the character assigned to her but at one point she stopped worrying about this. Bucha also said that she didn't know a lot about "Ms. Marvel and Marvel Universe's coolness" because of her "age". "When I told my son about it, that's then when I got to know that this is a 'thing'," she said.
"Every day I see a new thing about Ms. Marvel, and try to understand. At first, when we were filming, we talked about it and were excited about it, 'representation', a word that we've been using quite lately. But actually it's beyond the term representation. We've been seeing Spider Man and Batman for a long time and they've given a meaning to the young boys who felt lonely and odd so they gave them someone to identify with. But Ms. Marvel has paved the way for immigrant kids, for them to identify themselves."
"At first, kids never questioned [things] but now I see these kids are very vocal, they talk about their skin colour, their race and experience. According to me, they have valued all these things in Ms. Marvel, [and made sure] that those immigrant and expat children see themselves in the mirror, and how important that is for them. This was much needed."
The actor said that we as Pakistanis are quick-witted when it comes to catching certain things, especially mistakes. "Television and film are very subjective. Some people will like it while some won't. But so far, I have one experience in a cinema where the trailer was played for Ms. Marvel and I heard people hoot and saw kids getting excited."
Ms Marvel is being helmed by Oscar-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Meera Menon, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. While it premiered on Disney+ on June 8, Marvel Studios has released the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel exclusively in cinemas in Pakistan on Friday. The third and fourth episodes will be screened on July 1 and fifth and sixth episodes on July 15. All episodes will run in cinemas for one week, according to Chinoy.