MARVEL SUPERHERO IS PAKISTANI-AMERICAN TEENAGER

From LA Times

Before Sandra Saad was a superhero in a major Marvel property, the actress found herself in an unfortunate, potentially career-killing position for a young performer. She had to turn down acting opportunities.

It’s crucial, says Saad, a first-generation Egyptian American, to take on characters that don’t fall into Middle Eastern stereotypes. But the pitfalls of certain roles aren’t always immediately apparent. While she speaks Arabic, her reading skills of the language are hit-and-miss, which means she could miss the nuances of certain lines of dialogue. This is why she runs potential roles by an authority higher than any agent, casting director or Hollywood advisor: her mother.

“Sometimes I get these scripts that are just dangerous to play,” says Saad, who has a starring role in Square Enix’s take on the game “Marvel’s Avengers,” out this week.

“They would make me say things that are just horrible,” Saad continues. “Sometimes I need to ask my mom what it says, and one day she started tearing up. She said, ‘Please don’t do this to yourself. Please don’t do this to our people.’ A lot of these roles are political. ‘OK, thank you. I’m not doing it.’”

There are, of course, modern-life realities, such as paying bills. But Saad, who was spending the bulk of her time behind the scenes as a makeup artist, saw some compromises as too great.

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