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Mohan Kapur’s Journey from “Snakes & Ladders” to “The Marvels” and the Marvel Superhero Who Tried to Introduce Him to Nintendo

Not many actors can say they have had a longer or more successful journey than Mohan Kapur. His career started as the first television personality in South Asia in the early ‘90s in the region’s first network series, Snakes and Ladders, and after the host of Sony Television’s Indian format of Wheel of Fortune, which gave entry to an illustrious career in Indian cinema and now Hollywood blockbusters. Kapur is touted for his range in acting, having started out as “India’s Jay Leno” and is now making waves in Los Angeles as a member of the Marvel family. His road has been marked by many projects, all leading him to where he is today.

When producer Andrea Chung and director Duane Adler, the creator of the STEP UP franchise, came to India to film the romantic dance film Heartbeats (Amazon Prime, 2018), Chung and Adler encouraged Kapur to consider working in America. “Duane and I sat down with Mohan and told him his talent was unique, there was something magnetic about his performance we didn’t plan for, and there was a need in Hollywood to work with more talent like him,” says Chung, who now manages Kapur. “At the time they spoke to me, it seemed more like flattery than reality. I already had a long career to be proud of in Indian cinema, and directors and studios have called me directly since I started. Starting fresh in Hollywood seemed unrealistic.” But when Chung sent Kapur scenes for ‘Yusuf Khan’ in Ms. Marvel in 2020, Kapur made sure to tape an audition. “I have a twin sister and two older sisters who immigrated to America, raising their first-generation children, my nephews and nieces, in Los Angeles, New York, and Florida. I saw my sisters and in-laws in Muneeba and Yusuf Khan. The audition wasn’t about Bollywood or Hollywood anymore. The project’s significance and my responsibilities as a brother and uncle were to use my voice to give perspective and make change.”

As the world knows, Kapure landed a series regular role and was quickly welcomed into the Marvel universe. The series follows a teenage girl named Kamala, played by Iman Vellani, who is granted superpowers after being obsessed with superheroes like Captain Marvel for years. Kapur plays Kamala’s father, a warm and caring man who supports Kamala’s superhero dreams. Last fall, Kapur received the Critics Choice Award for Best Ensemble as part of the cast of Ms. Marvel in celebration of Asian-Pacific Cinema & Television.

Following this breakout performance, Kapur was asked to reprise his role for the upcoming feature, The Marvels. The film follows Captain Marvel, played by Academy Award-winning actress Brie Larson, as her powers are entangled with Kamala’s. The story also includes a crossover with the popular television series Wandavision. The Marvels allowed Kapur to work alongside Larson and superstar Samuel L. Jackson. “I loved every minute of working with them. Brie tried her best to get me to play Nintendo; alas, she was unsuccessful, and Sam, who I like to call ‘Mr. Jackson,’ joked about how comfortable I was with all the cats we had on set. Being around him, I think I attained Nirvana,” chuckles Kapur. You can watch Kapur’s performance in IMAX on November 10, 2023. 

In theaters now, Mohan is almost unrecognizable, portraying real-life government scientist Dr. Raman Gangakhedkar (the “Fauci of India”), who was recruited into an elite WHO COVID group to create a COVID vaccine for the country.Advisory Group. “Every day, the makeup team put me in prosthetics and a wig. They did a fantastic job transforming me into the doctor.” Kapur’s starring role in The Vaccine War has garnered him praise in the acting and scientific community. It is one of the most serious characters Kapur has portrayed. “COVID was such a volatile time, and decades of Dr. Gangakhedkar’s knowledge was put to the test and at times pushed back or second-guessed. I leaned in on the frustrating space the pandemic placed him in. It was not just India, but the world who counted on him.” The film is a follow-up to the sleeper hit The Kashmir Files. The Kashmir Files broke records, grossing over $32 million at the Indian box office last year, and recently won the Silver Lotus Award at the Indian National Film Awards. 

From avant-garde Indian cinema to Hollywood action films, Kapur is a versatile actor whose acting journey is going strong. He is becoming a prominent figure among Marvel fans, and his Hollywood career is just beginning. Kapur’s roles in The Marvels and The Vaccine War will make him a fixture on your screen this fall. 

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  • Can’t wait to see The Marvels on IMAX!

    October 18, 2023

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