Ms. Marvel Actor Farhan Akhtar Compares Action Work On The Disney+ Series To His Bollywood Experience

Farhan Akhtar as Waleed in Ms. Marvel
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

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

During her trip to Karachi, Pakistan in the Ms. Marvel episode “Seeing Red,” Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan learned about the Red Daggers, an organization dedicated to keeping our world safe from the Clandestines. Aramis Knight’s Kareem was the first person to hold the Red Dagger mantle whom Kamala met, and soon after she came face to face with Farhan Akhtar’s Waleed, the leader of the organization. With Ms. Marvel marking his Hollywood debut, Akhtar compared the action work he did on the Disney+ show to his many years of Bollywood experience while chatting with CinemaBlend.

I had the opportunity to speak to Farhan Akhtar about his work on the fourth episode of Ms. Marvel (which can be streamed now with a Disney+ subscription), and among the questions I asked him was how his time on the critically acclaimed Marvel series compared to the action-heavy projects he’s done in the past. Akhtar responded:

It actually did feel the same to me. I say that with a great deal of joy, because I did wonder after having worked on films here and then when I do a show like Ms. Marvel, the reaction, will it be different? Is there something more that’s happening there that we don’t have here? Those are the questions that come up in your head. But I was really happy to see it. There’s Gary Powell, who’s incredible at what he was doing as the second unit director and the guy who created the whole sequence that you see in Episode 4. It felt like I was on set in Bollywood. That’s really what it felt like to me, so it was great.

For Farhan Akhtar’s first Hollywood project to practically feel the same as the action-related projects he’s worked on in Bollywood, whether it be as a performer or a behind-the-scenes person, is fortunate. This was in large part thanks to Gary Powell, who’s also been a second unit director on Ready Player One, Morbius and the underwater unit of Skyfall. And Akhtar certainly wasn’t lacking for action in this Ms. Marvel episode. While a good chunk of Waleed’s screen time in “Seeing Red” was revealing new information to Kamala Khan about the Clandestines, eventually these antagonists infiltrated the Red Daggers’ headquarters, which was an all-practical set.

Waleed put up an adorable fight against the Clandestines, both at Red Dagger HQ and in the streets of Karachi, but while protecting Kamala and Kareem, he was killed by Najma, the Clandestines’ leader. While there are certainly plenty of instances in the MCU where someone’s injuries weren’t actually fatal or their death was somehow undone, for now, it sadly looks like Waleed’s demise is permanent. Still, fingers crossed this isn’t the last time we see Akhtar in Hollywood, as he was among the standout elements of “Seeing Red.”

There are only two episodes of Ms. Marvel left this season, and it hasn’t been announced yet if another season of the show will follow. Fortunately for fans of Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan, she’ll return on July 28, 2023 for The Marvels, one of the many upcoming Marvel movies.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.