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How Ms. Marvel's Aramis Knight Had 'A Leg Up' When It Came To Nailing The Badass Red Dagger

Warning: SPOILERS for the Ms. Marvel episode “Seeing Red” are ahead!

Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan came to Karachi, Pakistan with her mother in the hopes of learning more about the strange things that have been happening in her life lately. What she didn’t expect was to run into the Red Daggers, an organization dedicated to protecting humanity from the Clandestines. While Bollywood actor Farhad Akhtar played the leader of the Red Daggers, Kamala spent more time with Aramis Knight’s Kareem, who hails from the Marvel Comics pages. Kareem didn’t lack for opportunities to be a badass in the Ms. Marvel episode “Seeing Red,” and Knight spoke with CinemaBlend about how he had a “leg up” when it came to tackling the role.

You may recognize Aramis Knight from projects like Ender’s Game or Into the Badlands, the latter of which saw his character, M.K., frequently wielding a sword. As is to be expected with a name like Red Dagger, Knight’s Kareem specialized in using smaller kinds of blades, so during my interview with the actor, I asked what it was like learning how to properly use daggers during his time on Ms. Marvel. Knight answered:

Oh I loved it. Shoutout to Bryan Cartago, amazing trainer, amazing stunt double. I had my five years of Wushu background, so coming in, I knew I had a bit of a leg up. But I also knew Kareem’s fighting style is a bit different from MK’s. Kareem is a lot more calculated, he’s a lot more agile, he also uses parkour, so learning some parkour. A lot of it was stance work, which Wushu really caters towards. And then also figuring out how to throw things and make it look cool, [that] was another thing that hadn’t developed. I think overall, we really developed Kareem’s skill set based on the things that I’m really good at, which is hand-to-hand combat and a lot of ground work, rolls, some Jiu Jitsu stuff. So I think Kareem was very much modeled after what Aramis can do, which I think is really cool.

Aramis Knight has years of martial arts experience under his belt, so it’s not like he was coming to the Kareem role as a newbie. Yes, there are differences between Kareem and MK’s fighting styles, but between his Wushu background and the training catering to his existing skills, Knight did indeed have a leg up on nailing his combat-heavy scenes in Ms. Marvel. And he came right out of the gate with those moves, as Kareem ambushed Kamala Khan at the Karachi train station, initially thinking she was one of the Clandestines. However, after they cleared things up, Kareem brought Kamala back to Red Dagger headquarters (an all-practical set) to meet Farhad Akhtar’s Waleed, leader of the Red Daggers. 

Kareem broke out his trusty daggers later on in “Seeing Red” when the Clandestines attacked Red Dagger HQ, with the fight soon spilling out into the streets of Karachi and escalating into a destructive car chase. It wasn’t long after the close quarters combat resumed that Waleed was killed by Najma, the Clandestines’ leader, leaving Kareem and Kamala Khan on their own. The episode ended on a strange note when Najma accidentally stabbed Kamala’s bangle, which transported the teen girl to the previously mentioned train station, only in 1947, in the middle of Partition. How exactly Kamala will find her way out of this situation remains to be seen, but presumably she and Kareem will reunite before Episode 5 concludes.

New episodes of Ms. Marvel drops Wednesdays to Disney+ subscribers. Don’t forget to look through our guide detailing upcoming Marvel movies, which includes The Marvels, where Iman Vellani will reprise Kamala Khan, opening on July 26, 2023.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.