EXCLUSIVE: Farhan Akhtar on Waleed’s Past

The good news was that Marvel Studios cast Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar in a key role in Episode 4 of Ms. Marvel, “Seeing Red.” The bad news is that, barring a miracle, Akhtar’s Waleed doesn’t seem to have much of a future.

However, Akhtar’s character made a big impression in a short time, giving Kamala Khan a bit of a history lesson on the Clandestine’s Noor Dimension and sacrificing himself to save her and Kareem. Akhtar inhabited Waleed with such gravitas and authority, however, that it was clear the actor knew much more about the character. In an exclusive interview, Akhtar credited the creative team behind Ms. Marvel with giving him everything he needed to know about the character’s past.

Honestly, a lot of the hard work on this was done by the writers and by the creative producer. I mean they really came and gave me a really good sense of Waleed, explained to me Waleed’s past, where he probably met Aisha for the first time-since he refers to her, he knows about her-what experience he has with the bangle, how does he know the Clandestines, when did he first meet them, when did he first battle them, how did he get that scar on his face.

Farhan Akhtar

As the authority figure of the order of the Red Dagger, Waleed certainly gave off the impression that he had been through some things that a young hero like Kamala might not understand. There’s also the currently unanswered question of how he knew Kamala’s great-grandmother, Aisha, and why he didn’t seem to lump her into the same category as the villainous Clandestines. According to Akhtar, he simply tapped into the history of the character as given to him by the team.

So we had all these conversations. So by the time we came into these scenes, I had all that history with me. I could tap into all that and I had that understanding of who this guy is. When he’s sharing stuff with Kamala, the kind of authority that he speaks with, that he’s had these experiences, that is something that the writers and producers shared with me and I’m very thankful for that.

Farhan Akhtar

Though Waleed certainly seems dead, there’s no reason we couldn’t see Akhtar in the role again, whether that be in the upcoming fifth episode or in another season of the show via flashbacks. Fans of the show would definitely welcome more of the character and given the way Akhtar has spoken about his time with the show, it seems he might too.

Ms. Marvel is now streaming on Disney Plus.

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