Thursday, August 18, 2022

Indian actors have arrived in America

Actor Mohan Kapur was the voice of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Red Skull in India for a long time. Today, he is in Hollywood’s own Marvel Cinematic Universe where he plays Yusuf Khan in the new Ms Marvel series

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

Mohan Kapur, who plays the protagonist’s dad in the American TV series Ms Marvel said that the series had “opened the floodgates for South Asian stories and storytelling in the West”.

Actor Mohan Kapur was the voice of Marvel’s Doctor Strange and Red Skull in India for a long time. Today, he is in Hollywood’s own Marvel Cinematic Universe where he plays Yusuf Khan in the new Ms Marvel series.

Kapur told National Herald that over the last five-six years, he had been approved for quite a few roles in Hollywood projects, but he could never make it for the lack of an O1 visa. In fact, a talent agent would often tell him that there was a huge gap in Hollywood for actors like Kapur, because of “my ethnicity, voice, looks and acting”.

Kapur recalled that he was nervous because his “Indian acting sensibilities” would not work

In August 2020, he got an opportunity to work with Marvel though he was certain that he would not get a visa “But Marvel Studio handled it all, and I landed in Hollywood in October 2020,” he said. Kapur recalled that he was nervous because his “Indian acting sensibilities” would not work. “But my manager told me that I was hired because my acting sensibilities are more international. So, I was relieved and consoled myself that this is the reason I don’t get much work in India,” he said.

Working with Marvel was an experience that Kapur will cherish for life. He was also fascinated with everything on the sets, from the scale, to the script, to the co-actors, the Hollywood professionalism, their technicians, and even the nuances of their writing.

Kapur said it might be a few years late, but now the world was ready for a woman Pakistani immigrant superhero in America. He says it was interesting that for the first time Hollywood realised that it can portray South Asian communities without jingoism or one-sided narratives.

The actor also found it amusing how no one would have ever imagined there’d be a Bollywood song in a Marvel show with people dancing to it at a wedding, or an Eid celebration, or a portrayal of the Partition in the subcontinent. But “the tapestry that the writers and creators have brought to life is magnificent and endearing. And that’s what I didn’t realise that people are waiting for,” said Kapur.

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Roma Ghosh
Roma Ghosh has recently retired as Associate Professor for Media Studies from an international university. She was with the Times of India as a correspondent for many years. Her passion is cooking and she has been doing recipes and photo shoots for Women's Era for the last 15-odd years.

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