Pakistani Star Mehwish Hayat Stole the Ms. Marvel Show as Kamala’s Great-Grandmother, Aisha

Ms. Marvel’s fifth episode (the penultimate for Season 1) went to the not-so-distant past to finally explain what happened to Kamala’s great-grandmother, Aisha. We see her meet Kamala’s great-grandfather, give birth to Sana, Kamala’s grandmother, and of course, meet up with Najma, who will later give birth to Kamran.

Throughout the episode, Aisha struggles to balance her obligation to her new family and the Djinn she came to our dimension with. Ultimately, her loyalty lies with Sana and her husband, rather than Najma. During Partition, Aisha tries to leave for the newly formed Pakistan along with her family, and a very special set of bangles. Najma, though, doesn’t take kindly to this betrayal.

Since Aisha clearly wishes to stay with her family rather than return with the other Djinn, Najma kills Aisha, just as her family is searching for a spot on the train that will take them to Pakistan. And that’s where we find Kamala, who Najma forced into the past when she struck Kamala’s bangle in the present.

Kamala sees Aisha and watches her great-grandmother die, but not before witnessing Aisha transfer her powers to a set of bangles, which Kamala will later find in the present day and use to activate her powers. Before she returns to the present, Kamala then helps Sana, her grandmother who’s only a toddler during the Partition, find her father before the train leaves. It’s Kamala, we learn, who created the “trail of stars” that we’ve been hearing about since the beginning of Ms. Marvel.

Aisha’s story is one we’ve waited for all season, so it makes sense that fans are curious to know who plays such an important character in Kamala’s backstory. Here’s what we know about the actress who plays Aisha in Ms. Marvel.

Who Plays Aisha in Ms. Marvel Episode 5?

Aisha, Kamala’s great-grandmother, is played by Mehwish Hayat, a well-known Pakistani actress with an extensive television and film career. She’s won a Lux Style Award, a prestigious film and television award in Pakistan. According to her imdB, She first appeared in Neeli, a 2006 television series. Ms. Marvel is Hayat’s first major role on an American television series, where she appeared in Episode 3 and Episode 5. On Instagram (where Hayat has almost 5 million followers), the actress has teased her role in the show for the past month, including a video of her getting ready for the show’s Hollywood red carpet. In one of her most recent posts, she posed in her set chair dressed as Aisha to announce her appearance in Ms. Marvel’s fifth episode.

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Speaking with GamesRadar, Hayat said the experience was “magical” and loved that the show incorporated a historical moment integral to Pakistan’s formation. She wants her role to help people better understand the South Asian experience. “It just brings people together and I think it creates that bridge between them to understand on a human level that, ‘Oh my god, this is how much they suffered.’ It’s such a beautiful way that Marvel has actually been brave enough, or experimental enough, to incorporate that.”

She also said it was difficult to keep her role a secret, especially considering Pakistan didn’t get the first two episodes of Ms. Marvel until a week later than the U.S. “My patience has been tested. I was shooting in Thailand and I had to make sure not to post anything because the whole world was shut down because of COVID. So I had to literally hold myself back. I wanted to scream and yell at the top of my lungs on the top of a mountain to be like, ‘Hey I did it!'”

There’s only one episode of Ms. Marvel left (at least in Season 1; Season 2 has yet to be announced), so there’s no telling if Aisha will make another appearance or if that’s the end of Hayat’s time on the show. In case you need a reminder, we have a helpful release schedule so you don’t miss the Ms. Marvel finale, which is sure to tease the next major MCU release.

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