Warning: this article contains spoilers for Ms. Marvel episode 5. Turn back now if you have not seen the latest installment in the MCU series.
The fifth episode of Ms. Marvel solves the mystery of Kamala Khan’s great-grandmother Aisha. We first met Kamala Khan's great-grandmother in a flashback earlier in the season, but the new episode sees her on the run from the ClanDestine, falling in love with a man named Hasan (Fawad Khan), and having a daughter.
Unfortunately, the family is soon forced to flee, and Aisha ends up being killed by the villainous Najma, while Kamala's transported back in time to help her grandmother using her powers and forming a "trail of stars". We may have heard this story before in the series – but now we know the truth behind it.
Aisha's story is a beautiful departure from everything else we've seen so far, and Total Film caught up with Mehwish Hayat, who plays Kamala's ancestor, to discuss her compelling story and being part of the MCU. "The experience itself was magical for me being Aisha and being, as a Pakistani actress, launched on such a global platform," she tells us. "It’s Marvel, it doesn't get any better than that."
Hayat spotlights the brilliance of setting the story in such an important time in Indian history – when the subcontinent was split by the British, causing mass migration, families being separated, and violence.
"It’s a very important part in the history of South Asians," she says. "All of us know about it, and our ancestors have actually gone through the pain, the trouble, and struggle with all that went down. It is a very sentimental episode in our lives and our history. It will be amazing for South Asian people of the younger generation to get a glimpse of that. And also for the Western audiences who didn't have any idea about this happening in the world, they're being introduced to this time in our history."
"It will allow them to actually understand the pain that we went through," she adds. "It just brings people together and I think it creates that bridge between them to understand on a human level that, 'Oh my god, this is how much they suffered.' It's such a beautiful way that Marvel has actually been brave enough, or experimental enough, to incorporate that."
Hayat is pleased to finally be speaking about her role in the show, because joining the MCU comes with a fair amount of secrecy. And this is especially the case when your character is only properly revealed in the fifth episode of an ongoing series. For her, keeping quiet was the hardest part of the process after she landed the role back in January 2021.
"My patience has been tested," Hayat says with a laugh. "I was shooting in Thailand and I had to make sure not to post anything because the whole world was shut down because of COVID. So I had to literally hold myself back. I wanted to scream and yell at the top of my lungs on the top of a mountain to be like, 'Hey I did it!'"
But, she’s pleased she kept silent so that the final product should be satisfying for viewers. "I realized why they were keeping her under wraps," Hayat continues. "Every episode you get to learn a bit more about her. There’s a lot of mystery around her but that all comes together in the end."
Ms. Marvel has just one episode remaining – and there’s a lot that needs to be wrapped up. When Kamala returns to New Jersey, she’ll find out how much danger her best friend Bruno (Matt Lintz) and new boy Kamran (Rish Shah) are in. Check out our Ms. Marvel release schedule to make sure you don’t miss a moment of the Disney Plus series.