In a fairly extensive interview for a magazine, the protagonist of Ms Marvel, Iman Vellanispoke about his relationship with the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feig.
Vellani said he admires Feige and that he knows how obsessed she is with Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Okay, my favorite people in the whole world are Robert Downey Jr and Billy Joel, nobody occupies that headspace. Kevin is the third and he knows how much I am obsessed with him. He’s been, you know, excited about my reaction.
In fact, Vellani tells how she froze completely when she first met Feige.
In our first week of shooting, they told me, ‘He’s coming on Wednesday.’ And it was Monday. And I was sleeping in my chair or something. And someone came up to me and said, ‘There’s someone here who wants to meet you.’ And I, I looked down and up. And it was just Kevin’s eyes because he was wearing a mask, and I completely froze. And he said, ‘I hear you’re doing a great job here.’ I didn’t speak to him or smile at him until he left. I literally stared at him. I felt really bad because he was trying to strike up a conversation with me and talk to me. And I didn’t give him anything.
Later, the actress gave Feige a four or five page handwritten letter. Later, he called her on Zoom, breaking down that letter by dancing between spoilers regarding the first 60 questions she had asked him.
And I had this letter, a four or five page handwritten letter that I had written for him and that I was going to give it to him in case this happened. But I didn’t have her with me that day, because they told me she was coming on Wednesday. So he arrived on Wednesday and came back. And the same thing happened. Kevin said, ‘I’m leaving unless you tell me something.’ And I was like, I have something for you. And I gave him my letter. And he caught it. And then I snatched it out of his hand. And he said, ‘Do you want me to have it or not?’ ‘Yes, yes,’ I told him. And then the next day he called me on Zoom and a PDF with the first 60 questions he had asked in the letter.
Vellani said that Feige is very sweet and very supportive, and she really wishes he liked how nerdy she is about all things Marvel.
There’s a lot. The first page of the letter was just me being in love with him. And then the rest was just questions that he had about his life, the MCU, what time he wakes up, when he has breakfast. It was very basic stuff like that. I didn’t even care what the answers were. I just wanted to hear him speak. I can’t tell you any of his answers, but some of them were really dumb. One question that he had about spoilers and stuff, which is the most irritating. Before the three Spider-Mans were announced, I was like, ‘So there are three Spider-Mans in the movie?’ ‘I do not know. But tonight I’m going to watch The Amazing Spider-Man with my kids. She is very sweet and has been very supportive throughout this whole thing. And I think he really likes how nerdy I am about Marvel stuff. Because when I visited his office, he said to me, ‘God, it’s so nice to show people things that really matter to them.’ Like, yeah, tell me more, Kevin. That is our relationship. I love it.
Vellani also addressed how he reacted to getting the role of kamala khan. She remembers that the news came on the last day of high school when she and a friend were going to buy burritos.
As I mentioned, it was the last day of school, even though it ended with Google Hangouts, which was really depressing. But my friends and I thought, okay, let’s go get some burritos, or go shopping, or whatever. So my friend picked me up and we went to find another friend. And I get a text from casting director Sara Finn, saying, ‘Can you have a call right now?’ And I said, ‘No.’
One of the reasons he said he couldn’t is because none of his friends knew he had auditioned for the role.
My friends didn’t know I had auditioned. And then she was like, ‘I just sent you the link, come on in.’ I was like, ‘Okay. So I got out of my friend’s car and in the driveway I open the Zoom link, and it was just Kevin’s face, and I knew there were 15 other people on the call, but I literally couldn’t see anyone but Kevin Feige.
Upon learning that he had gotten the part, Vellani said he even gasped for breath, and was in shock for a year and a half.
Kevin Feige is like my God in every sense of the word. He couldn’t breathe, or speak, or anything. He was on the Zoom app, so you have to keep talking for people to see you. And I couldn’t keep talking, I was like breathing heavily to make any noise. But yeah, Kevin told me about the role. I was basically in shock for a year and a half.