Spider-Man’s Zoha Rahman On Being A South Asian Actor In Hollywood: What We’ve Seen So Far Is Very Stereotypical | Hollywood
Zoha Rahman is known for playing the very first hijabi character in a Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Far From Home, and she says the reach of South Asian players is still limited in the West.
The Pakistani-born British actor, who rose to fame after playing Peter Parker’s Muslim friend, says the problem exists because there is a lack of understanding as white people tell the story from their point of view. view.
“There is no shortage of talent among South Asian actors. But unfortunately, what we’ve seen so far is very stereotypical. We have taxi drivers, the geeky guy and unfortunately the terrorist and it’s very limiting,” she says, adding, “Firstly, you don’t see more than one South Asian on screen, because he must either be a South Asian or black or East Asian. You can’t have more than one person of color in a movie. There is a checklist, they think if there is one then diversity is done. This is often the first challenge.
The other challenge Rahman notes is that while there is such a character in the story, he doesn’t have a well fleshed out role.
“Stereotypical roles add nothing to the story. If this character is removed from the story, nothing changes. I have auditions (for such roles) and it’s frustrating,” she adds.
But the actress isn’t giving up hope as she says she sees changes happening.
“There is a very slow and gradual change coming. I personally believe it’s because we have more people of color behind the camera now. So people are actually writing stories that are representative of our experiences and not of white citizens of the world,” she tells us.
Not just in Hollywood, Rahman has also worked in Bollywood, she recently starred in ’83 and filming for Anshuman Jha’s upcoming debut film Lord Curzon Ki Haveli alongside Arjun Mathur, Rasika Dugal and Paresh Pahuja.
“Bollywood has a huge impact on all South Asians. You grow up watching these films and dancing to these songs at weddings. During Covid I watched a lot of Bollywood films and it gave me a new perspective what goes into the art of creating a Bollywood film. Lord Curzon Ki Haveliwith Anshuman leading the way, I’m really having fun as a performer,” she concludes.