Charitra Chandran: If you could choose one song to be the theme song of your life, which song would you choose?
Oh, that’s such a good question. If I’m honest, I’d say Beyoncé, but it’s really just that Curb your excitement TV show theme song. This is the one that plays in my head the most because I want to be cool, sexy, and smooth. But I think I might just be a South Asian Larry David.
Lily Singh: Jamila, my girl. Congratulations on joining the Marvel Universe. I watched your interview about how women are often demonized IRL. What did you learn from playing the role of the villain in the show?
First of all, Lily, I’ve only met you once. It was at the beginning of my career in America and we had to audition for something together. You were one of the only women I’ve ever auditioned with who didn’t make me feel like they were trying to compete with me. You were kind and open, even though you were more experienced than I was. I will never forget that. Also, yours enjoyment The India cover was amazing. To your question, what did I learn about being possessed? In the last few weeks, women are monstrous no matter what we do. Sometimes we demonize someone for not loving them. It’s so easy for us to fall prey to society’s absurd list of all the things that men are never expected to do. Playing the bad guy didn’t really feel any different, I imagine, than playing the misunderstood good guy. Also, something I’ve learned playing the villain on the show is that villains are more fun. Maybe I’m going to be more abusive than ever.
LS: Perhaps you will agree with me when I say that representation in the media is getting better, but we still have a long way to go. What changes do you think need to be made to get us to a place of true inclusion?
First, we need to diversify the stories we tell. I think thanks to people like Mindy [Kaling] and Priyanka [Chopra] And me too, I think it’s happening. People are starting to see the value in our stories. However, I would like to see more Indian sex symbols in movies around the world. Our representation conversation now needs to go beyond just race or gender. We also need to think about disability, because it’s a conversation that no one is ever having. In Hollywood, we’ve completely erased billions of people because we’re still clinging to a kind of exclusivity that I think is really problematic. So that’s something that I hope to be able to speak and advocate for as well because I think it’s really important. As a child who was very sick, and often on crutches or even in a wheelchair, this was something I wanted to see. Being South Asian as well and not seeing myself represented, I remember how bad it made me feel about myself and how much it made me hate my culture as a child, which is so sad. It is important that when we talk about including people, we talk about including everyone.
Purna Jagannathan: If recently, you bumped into someone from your past, who either didn’t believe you or insulted you, what would you say to them?
I haven’t had a chance, Poorna. But I’ve had so many conversations in my head about what to say alone in my room and I’m sure it’s much harder and colder than how I would actually be when I’m around these people. The closest I’ve come is people trying to send me a friend request on Facebook, and I’ve blocked them and felt proud of myself. I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I constantly fantasize about it. I will let you know. I will get back to you.
PJ: Jamela, what is the part that only very close friends can see?
Really, just my bum. Like nobody saw my butt. I gave everything else away and anyone who hasn’t seen my boobs will now in this shoot. So I really think it’s my bum.
PJ: What’s been the most unexpected interaction you’ve had with a troll? Because I know you’re a troll.
At this point, I expect everything. I’m trying to think of the last time I was surprised… it’s so fascinating that people seem to hate someone they’ve never met. Even if they don’t know you, they’ve built this whole fictional character around you. They don’t know who you love, what you like, what you don’t like, who you are when the camera is off…. The way I look at it now is that even when random strangers hate me, I’m an entertainer and I’m here to entertain at any cost. Whether you love watching me or you hate watching me, I’m still entertaining you. You are still thinking about something else that is boring and nonsense. you are thinking about me That’s why I love Marvel characters so much, because you hate me. I want to make you angry. There’s something great about not liking everyone, because then you’re free to be yourself. As a South Asian woman, you are expected to please everyone, take care of everyone, nurture and feed everyone, do everything for everyone and never take care of yourself. God, don’t be selfish. “Selfish” is such a rude word. It is a word that family members will use against us to tell us that we have done something wrong. I think it’s important for us as women to be more selfish. It would be very freeing and dangerous at once.