The release of Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017 came with a surprise hijabi extra hovering in the background of Peter Parker's class. Two years later, Muslim representation in the film made it a step beyond just a few seconds.
British actress and model Zoha Rahman first witnessed the hijabi extra in 2017 and thought the depiction to be quite a step forward for Muslim representation. So, after auditioning for a similar role for the sequel, the actress scored the part. In the upcoming sequel Spider-Man: Far From Home, Rahman joins Parker on a field trip across Europe. This time, the character is not just a mere extra, but a full-fledged character who's friends with Parker. Rahman is considered to be the first hijabi character to be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It all happened when her agency sent her profile to the film's casting team; she was then invited to the audition, she told Al Araby in an interview.
"It was all extremely confidential and I had no idea what film I was auditioning for until I got there and was given my lines. Luckily they liked my performance and I landed the role," she said.
"I can't elaborate much on my role – all I can say is that I'm Peter Parker's friend and we go on an amazing European trip. You'll have to catch us in the cinemas to find out more," Rahman added.
The film is set to come to theaters July 2nd and features Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Being part of a Hollywood film was a dream for Rahman prior to getting the role in the upcoming Spider-Man sequel.
"In all my years of dreaming about working on a Hollywood set, I never thought it would become a reality," she said in an interview with Al Jazeera.
"It's a sad by-product of the lack of representation on screen that actors like myself never truly believe in themselves."