Vellani made her MCU debut in the Ms. Marvel Disney+ series, which showcased the origin story of how Kamala Khan gained her cosmic powers and started making her dreams come true of becoming a superhero.
At only 19 years of age when the series aired, the actress became the youngest lead in an MCU project. With it being her first acting credit, Vellani shared in the past that she had some help from other actors within the franchise, such as Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt when getting acclimatized to being on-camera.
Now, set to star alongside Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris in 2023's The Marvels, Vellani revealed that she has had some help from not just another MCU actor, but one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
Samuel L. Jackson's Advice to Iman Vellani
In an interview with AP Entertainment, Ms. Marvel actress Iman Vellani shared the one major piece of advice she received from Samuel L. Jackson while filming The Marvels.
The Ms. Marvel star stated that she had a "whole laundry list of questions" for Jackson when he came to the set, but his opinion on "the best characteristic of an actor" had the biggest impact:
"I remember when Sam Jackson was on set, I had this whole laundry list of questions for him. And I was asking him like, ‘What’s the best characteristic of an actor?’ Or something like that. And he was like, ‘Patience.’ I was like, ‘Yes, Sam, you right. Patience.’"
Vellani then went on to talk about how she applied his advice to working on the film, and how it made her understand the process better:
"And then after that, I never complained, ever. If anything took longer than five minutes, or ten minutes, or coming to set and not even working, it’s all part of the job and you have to understand that there’s so many moving parts."
The actress also mentioned that filming a movie is "like a little world" with many different aspects making it all come together:
"It’s like a little world, constantly moving around you, and you have no idea where to put yourself. So, you just really have to work with it and appreciate the amount of people and bodies that are working on making this one, two-hour movie, or whatever.”
Before the release of Ms. Marvel, Vellani spoke out about how welcoming and helpful fellow MCU co-star Brie Larson was, even revealing that the Captain Marvel star reached out and wanted to get in contact just two days after she had been cast as Kamala Khan:
“I got cast on June 24. Two days after, I get a text from [casting director] Sarah Finn saying, ‘Brie wants to meet you.’ I was like, ‘What?’ The next day, we did a little Zoom call. It was very, very nice to have her hold my hand throughout everything. I very much made sure I was using her as much as I could, because she made herself so available for me."
While being ecstatic to play the titular character in Ms. Marvel, Vellani also mentioned its downsides, but then elaborated on how Larson helped her through that as well:
"There’s a sense of loneliness that comes with just being the only superhero on set. She definitely dealt with that on Captain Marvel. For me, I was the only person in a superhero costume, which is a little scary. Everyone is gonna look at you when you’re wearing the shiny piece of Spandex."
Vellani ultimately talked about how it was "great" to have the feeling of not being alone after talking to Larson, who told her that "she's gone through the same thing:"
"It’s a little intimidating and you feel insecure. You’re in this funky costume doing these weird hand things. Brie was telling me that she’s gone through the same thing. I was like, ‘Great. Not alone!’ She said, This is normal, and you’re going to have a lot of body pain!’”
Applying the Advice Iman Vellani's Received
Iman Vellani may be in the early years of her MCU career, but she has already gotten a lot of advice from multiple A-list stars within the franchise.
As her career progresses, Vellani seems as though she will take these words of wisdom with her, and she will undoubtedly get more from other stars along the way.
She has already been thrust into the spotlight since appearing as a lead in the biggest film franchise in the world, so one day she will likely be giving advice to a future newcomer in the MCU.