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EXCLUSIVE: May Calamawy on Layla possibly picking up Moon Knight mantle and how her mom inspired her character

With Moon Knight, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is further establishing its new phase as experimental at its extreme! Loyalists and new fans, alike, are hyping the Oscar Isaac starrer for bringing diverse freshness to the popular and packed Marvel table. While Oscar Isaac is receiving a ton of praise for his dual avatar as Marc Spector and one of his alter-egos Steven Grant, as is Ethan Hawke for his antagonist act as Arthur Harrow, May Calamawy is also getting a whole lot of love (and deservedly so!) with her MCU debut as archaeologist-adventurer Layla El-Faouly.

*SPOILERS ALERT* As Moon Knight’s breakout star, May Calamawy has quickly become a fan favourite and many are anticipating a bright MCU future for Layla. In an EXCLUSIVE tête-à-tête with Pinkvilla, I quizzed May on all things Moon Knight. We candidly discussed her working experience with the “great” Oscar Isaac, how she was inspired by her late mother when it came to playing Layla, if she envisions Layla ever picking up the mantle of Moon Knight, like Khonshu wishes, and a subtle “mood” tease of the final two episodes of Moon Knight.

It was more, just he [Oscar Isaac] was so great at embodying two different people, that I was just reacting to what he gave. And over time, I noticed I fell into a pattern of how I would energetically feel around Mark [Spector] and then how I felt around Steven [Grant].

May Calamawy

Check out May Calamawy’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Pinkvilla for Moon Knight below:

While we’re aware how Marvel Studios is extremely tight-lipped about spoilers of any kind, can you tease the mood of the final two episodes of Moon Knight, especially after the gobsmacking Episode 4?

I feel like… we will get more answers and maybe learn more about Marc and Steven. And then, I cannot say anything about (episode) 6… Don’t want to give anything away. (smiles)

Oscar Isaac does major heavy lifting with his dual performance as Marc Spector and one of his alter-egos, Steven Grant. On the other hand, you too have your work cut out for you as Layla constantly has to react between Marc and Steven. How did you and Oscar Isaac establish that complicated equation?

May Calamawy Moon Knight Interview2

There was no, kind of, verbal establishing of anything. It was more, just he was so great at embodying two different people, that I was just reacting to what he gave. And over time, I noticed I fell into a pattern of how I would energetically feel around Mark and then how I felt around Steven.

Given the immense love you have gotten from fans with your MCU debut as Layla, do you envision your character ever picking up the mantle of Moon Knight, like Khonshu wishes?

May Calamawy Moon Knight Interview3

Wow! I haven’t… I didn’t think about it, but if that’s what people want to see, I mean, I would think about it. (chuckles)

You have mentioned in various interviews how you didn’t want to stereotype Layla as the action-adventure heroine we’re used to seeing cinematically and that you were influenced by Middle Eastern women for the same. What aspects did you pick up to make Layla unique?

May Calamawy Moon Knight Interview4

I’ve said it before, just that… I find, I took a lot from my mom. I find that she generally… especially for Layla because my mom has a – she passed away – but she was a very strong woman, but also in a soft way. She was very centered in how she was and balanced in that way, and I love that. And I find it, and I’m sure there’s reasons culturally why women hold themselves this way in the Middle East, but it is something that I… it is what it is and I’m from there and I love it, right. So I wanted to bring that. And most importantly, besides trying to take from the Middle East was I wanted to show a full rounded woman. When you think of someone who is going to be fighting, someone who’s a badass, you almost take away the emotion because… that was something, I didn’t know how to do that. I was like, ‘I’m not bada*s like that. I’m vulnerable, and that’s something that I really want to bring to Layla.’ So I’m happy that I did what I could, so… (laughs)”

Our excitement for Moon Knight’s final two episodes has now reached its peak!

Would you like to see May Calamawy’s Layla picking up the Moon Knight mantle in the MCU future? Share your personal thoughts and wildest theories on what you’re expecting will happen in Moon Knight’s finale with Pinkvilla in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, Moon Knight Ep 5 is out today and Ep 6, which is the finale episode, will be out on May 4 on Disney+Hotstar.

ALSO READ: Moon Knight Review: A delectably trippy MCU series fine-tuned by a ‘twin-tastic’ Oscar Isaac performance




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