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Ms. Marvel's Travina Springer Details How The Comics Inspired Her Take On Tyesha Hillman - Exclusive

Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani) may not have an older sister on "Ms. Marvel," but Travina Springer's Tyesha Hillman is here to fill Kamala's sisterly void in the Disney+ show. Hillman plays the fiancé of Kamala's brother Aamir Khan (Saagar Shaikh). Luckily, the animosity that some families find with their in-laws doesn't seem to be at play for the Khan family when it comes to Tyesha joining the family. While some of the Khans seem oblivious to Kamala's more devious rebellion, Tyesha knows exactly what Kamala is up to in the moment. However, with a glint in her eye, she doesn't rat out her younger almost sister-in-law. Tyesha is a staple of the "Ms. Marvel" comics, but how much of the written material did Travina Springer bring to her onscreen portrayal of Tyesha?

During an exclusive interview with Looper, Travina Springer discussed the comic book research that went into her portrayal of Tyesha Hillman and what aspects of the comics she brought to the TV role. 

Diving into the comics

When it comes to bringing an already established character to life, some actors choose to do research while others opt to come in with fresh eyes. On which method Springer chose to go with, the actress said, "I absolutely did research. I dived in as soon as I found out about the project. I researched and found as many issues of "Ms. Marvel" as I could. And it's so good, there's so much richness in the source material." She added, "So yes, I did a lot of background on Tyesha to find out who she was, and I was thrilled to discover there were a lot of things that were similar, also things that were different [about her], but things that I understood about her too. I think the comics are so great ... and it's a treat to be able to have source material because [in] a lot of [projects] you don't have anything."

Every actor wants to add something of their own to a character — whether it's new or an adaptation from something that already exists. Springer explained, "It's like this is my interpretation. So it's a nice Cliff's Notes to pull from and then make your own spin [on it] because 'Ms. Marvel' is inspired by the source material. That's exciting."

Tyesha Hillman: Comics versus onscreen

Springer had to think a bit about what she brought from the "Ms. Marvel" comics to the final product of her character. "I'm not sure if there's anything specifically that I pulled from the comics to the final product because there was so much there in the material. And the mindfulness of what her relationship is with Kamala and her relationship to Aamir, that's in the comics," she mused. "Maybe having that internal knowledge about her deep love for everyone [came into it]. 

"And also, maybe I did bring in the fact that Tyesha, even in the comics, is very self-assured, and she's not afraid of choosing her own path and going her own way. So yes, that definitely informed my choices for Tyesha in the series." It's always refreshing when an actor puts a new spin on a beloved character while honoring the core values that make the character who they are.

New episodes of "Ms. Marvel" stream Wednesdays on Disney+.