British actress Zoha Rahman will be the ‘first hijabi character’ to feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to her role in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Fans online spotted the star’s brief appearance in the film’s trailers and the discovery sent waves of excitement across social media.
‘So there’s a hijabi at Spiderman’s homecoming?’ one fan tweeted.
‘So I was watching the old Spiderman far from home trailers and BOOM I FOUND A HIJABI IN ONE OF THE TRAILERS,’ another eagle-eyed fan wrote.
‘I’ve just really stared at this for the first time and. there’s a muslim girl! in the mcu! next to mj! in a spiderman movie! a muslim girl with a hijab! representation! i am : f*****g happy, [sic]’ one delighted fan added.
‘Thank you Spiderman for giving us the Hijabi representation we both need and deserve,’ another friendly fan added.
So I was watching the old Spiderman far from home trailers and BOOM I FOUND A HIJABI IN ONE OF THE TRAILERS pic.twitter.com/bInEgeBM8U
— Mohammed. (@_moh_mm_d) May 7, 2019
The role is understandably a big deal for Zoha who opened up to fans about the opportunity on Instagram.
‘When I was asked if I was happy to wear a hijab for this role I basically jumped into it, full force, sent selfies in a dupatta as a hijab straight away to the casting director,’ she wrote.
‘You see, I was a little brown girl who watched movies and adverts and tv shows and cartoons and billboards but never saw herself.
‘So this was a private little mission, to see myself where little brown girls didn’t belong. And as this grew, I realised how selfish I had been to think I was the only one thinking and feeling and hoping the way I was.
‘So this one’s for all of us little brown girls, all of us little girls, all of us little boys, all of us changing the stories we tell from now on.’
Zoha originally studied law before she decided to take 12 months off to follow her dream and pursue acting and modelling full time with the help of BAME Models.
And it looks like Zoha’s risk has paid off so far seeing as this is only her third film role
‘This is still the beginning, I have aspirations of doing much more in the industry,’ she admitted in a statement.
This is Zoha Rahman, she’s known as an actress and also a model. She’s gonna be in Spider Man: Far From Home. We love you, Zoha. pic.twitter.com/MVyLwdXGCH
— مزبلة (@joyfulholland) January 16, 2019
With the release of Spider-Man just around the corner, excitement is growing as to the social impact the film will have – not just for fans of comic books but also in terms of diversity in the film industry and for all British Muslims, and Muslims worldwide, who can follow Zoha as a beacon, guiding the way to more opportunities.
Plus there’s also the fact Marvel bosses confirmed last year that Muslim superhero Ms Marvel will be joining the MCU.
Kevin Feige revealed his plans to bring the first female Muslim superhero onto screens during an interview with the BBC.
‘Captain Marvel’s shooting right now with Brie Larson. Ms Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works,’ he said. ‘We have plans for that once we introduce Captain Marvel.’
Kamala is a new character to the comic book and made her debut appearance in 2013 as a fan of Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers). Later on she ended up getting her very own comic, where she showed off her power of elasticity.
Spider-Man: Far From Home hits cinemas on 5 July 2019.
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