Ms. Marvel’s Farhan Akhtar talks Waleed’s fate, his Thor reference, and joining the MCU

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Ms. Marvel episode 4.

Ms. Marvel episode four introduced a new group of heroes to Kamala Khan’s story. The Red Dagger joins the fold when Kamala goes to Karachi to visit her family. She collides with a young man called Kareem (Aramis Knight) while exploring the city who takes her to their secret hideout. Here, she meets the group’s leader Waleed, played by Bollywood acting legend Farhan Akhtar.

The knowledgeable leader of the knife-wielding group proceeds to tell her more about her great-grandmother Aisha – as well as what the ClanDestine are planning with the bangle. However, things start to go wrong when the villainous group shows up following an escape from Damage Control. After a chase through the streets of Karachi, Waleed is stabbed by Namja and left for dead.

Total Film sat down with Akhtar to talk about his character’s dramatic fate, what it was like saying that iconic Thor line, and why he wanted to join the Marvel show. Here’s our conversation, edited for length and clarity. 

Total Film: I wanted to start off by asking about Waleed’s fate. At the end of episode four, we saw your character was seemingly killed. Is this the end for him or will we see him back?

Farhan Akhtar: Well, I don’t know… He fell off the balcony and hit his head pretty bad so let’s see what happens.

It looked pretty brutal… How was it filming that scene? The fight sequences seemed intense.

It was a lot of fun working with Gary Powell, who did the second unit and did all the action choreography. I had a great time, it was really, really fun. The stunt crew that were there too were a lot of fun. Working with them, they all made us look very cool, and made us look like we were doing things we can only fantasize about.

Did you draw on any influences from movies or TV shows when preparing for those fights? 

Honestly, I mean all of it was created by Gary and his team, and we were just there to make sure that we can do it as effectively as possible. He was there to make sure that it’s done as safely as possible, that it can be done. He said, ‘Just go in and have fun and don’t worry about it. We will make sure that nothing happens to you.’

Waleed in Ms. Marvel

(Image credit: Marvel/Disney Plus)

How have you found the response to you joining the show – and the wider MCU – so far?

It’s very surreal, you know? I’ve been watching shows and watching films in the MCU for so long. And then of course you go in and shoot for it, but you still don’t really get a sense of what’s happened until you watch it. So yesterday I sat down with my family and watched the episode. Everyone was really, really excited. I think it’s the first thing that my 14-year-old daughter has seen that I’ve done that she thinks is cool. So that’s a huge plus.

Speaking about the MCU, in this episode you also get a great line about Thor, where you say he would have been a Djinn if he’d landed in the Himalayas. Was that fun to say? 

Oh yeah, it was! I like how they do that, cross-pollinating characters from different shows and different films from one into the other, cross-referencing them. I think that’s a very smart thing to do. And of course, I mean, you get to see it, it almost feels like Waleed knew Thor so I enjoyed that aspect of it very much.

And just finally, I just wanted to find out a bit more about how you were approached for this role and what made you want to get involved with Ms. Marvel?

Well, I was approached through my casting agent. She called me and said that there’s this really exciting show that Marvel are doing called Ms. Marvel, and it’s about a young girl who’s Pakistani, who’s Muslim and has her roots in Karachi but lives in the US. It’s going to very strongly represent this part of the world, it’s going to strongly represent our culture, our traditions, our folklore, and our stories. And, to me, that was really an exciting thing when I heard that. It’s so great for kids especially to have representation on screen that they can now see and it gives them hope and it gives them dreams that they too can grow up and achieve things that we thought maybe weren’t possible. So all those things are equally as important as the fun of the show is. As much fun as each episode is, what’s also important is this message of inclusiveness that’s coming along with it. And to me, that was also a huge part of wanting to be a part of it.

Ms. Marvel continues on Disney Plus on Wednesdays. Check out our Ms. Marvel release schedule to make sure you don’t miss a moment of the show.

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