Ms. Marvel wasn’t just a coming-of-age superhero story, it was a story about family. Zenobia Shroff Starred as Muneeba Khan, Kamala’s fierce and formidable mother in the Disney+ series. HollywoodLife spoke to Zenobia about making history with her latest role and the future of the Khan family.
One of the most emotional moments of the series was when Muneeba gave Kamala her new costume. Zenobia opened up about filming that monumental mother-daughter moment. “I think we did that scene a couple of times in different ways. It wasn’t the easiest scene for me to do personally, but it was also a pivotal scene in the Muneeba and Kamala relationship,” Zenobia said. “If you look at the arc from the first episode to the last, she has finally won her mother over, and her mother realizes this child indeed does have powers, and she’s just not in her head the whole time. I think this was a beautiful ending saying, ‘We’re on your side. We support you. We trust you go there.’”
She continued, “I think there are a number of really beautiful scenes because, in the end, this is a storyline about lineage. Kamala gets her powers from Muneeba, Muneeba gets her powers from Sana, and so on. As Sanaa [Amanat], our creator, says: this is a story of four very strong women. That was also really important. Not just that we’re South Asian, it’s a maternal storyline and not a patriarchal one.”
Zenobia makes Marvel history by being the first South Asian mom in the MCU. The actress admitted it was “very gratifying” to be a part of the game-changing Ms. Marvel. “I’ve been working as an actor for 35 years, and we’ve never seen a South Asian mom in the MCU, so 30 years ago if you told me this would have happened, even the last 20 years. In the past 10 years, it was sort of beginning to congeal a little bit, so to be the first South Asian mom in the MCU the weight of our history is not lost on me,” she said.
Zenobia added, “I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I’ve said this in many interviews, I was told to change my name and go on as white-passing, which is a horrible phrase, and get an American accent and that’s the only way I would work. To be a series regular and to have the Khan family, the first South Asian family, is truly not just historical but it sort of makes my whole journey flash before my eyes in a very deep and profound way.”
The Khan family will next be seen in the upcoming film The Marvelswhich will be released on July 28, 2023. Zenobia hopes that Marvel will explore more of Muneeba’s powers in the future.
“So far, we’ve only seen that they come through her from Aisha to Sana and Sana to Muneeba. Now Muneeba has given them to her child, and they are exhibited through Kamala. But they came through Muneeba, so let’s go. Let’s see what Muneeba has to offer because she’s a pretty kickass lady. She is not a shrinking violet,” Zenobia quipped. All episodes of Ms. Marvel are now streaming on Disney+.
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