Ah, influencers. Global audiences can love them and their content on social media, but a large number also hate their guts, for their overindulgent attitudes and spread of vapid influencer culture, and this makes them perfect to model a supervillain after, in the form of Titania aka the current arch nemesis of newly minted Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hero, She-Hulk.
From over-edited social media posts, weird dances on TikToks, overlined lips and beef with other influencers, Jameela Jamil’s Titania is a culmination of all the worst traits one can think of when it comes to key opinion leaders, and by all accounts, she was conceived as an amalgamation of what society perceives such online personalities to be.
“I have never met an influencer, who embodies all these traits because I deliberately stay away from the kind of spaces in which I would come across those sorts of people. But I live online, so we’ll know who these people are. And I got to pull little bits from each of them and create Titania as a kind of collage of just all the worst people on the internet,” explained Jamil in an exclusive interview with Geek Culture.
Being an avid social media user, it seems like Jamil’s internet sleuthing, hot takes and numerous postings have benefited her character Titania greatly.
In the episode ‘Jennifer Walters vs Titania LLC’, the MCU villain sues Jennifer (Tatiana Maslany) over the moniker ‘She-Hulk’, a name the influencer has co-opted and copyrighted for her latest line of beauty products.
Taking the heroine to court, Titania is an absolute nightmare to deal with – and not in the way you think. She’s competitive and perhaps, some may dub as today’s modern-day #GirlBoss who’s only protecting her business, but it is also here where her ugliness pops off. Shaming Jennifer for her dating profile, and navigating the hearing with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, Jamil reminds viewers that this isn’t the behaviour of an accomplished woman. But rather, is that of an insecure misogynist.
Even if she refuses to believe it.
“Her problem with She-Hulk is just that Titania is a misogynist, right? She buys into misogynist values, she looks in a way that patriarchy tells women to look and files down her nose and overlines her lips and she’s got the big fake boobs and then the tiny corseted waist and big fake butt – and I think on top of that she believes that there can only ever be one girl at a time, one strong, powerful, tall woman at a time,” explained Jamil.
“I think she believes in that scarcity mindset. She follows that scarcity mindset to just want to destroy any woman who comes along and tries to take her place… woman or man! Titania throughout the years has got beef, truly with everyone and anyone she feels threatened by so that’s all it is. It’s just the wrong place. wrong time for Jennifer Walters.”
Titania does the most to remain relevant and on top. Billboards, meet and greets and even a radio ad focused on wellness and self-affirmations, Titania, much like capitalism and influencers of today, are inescapable. She may not be the run-of-the-mill Marvel villain that plots to take over the world through arms and violent means, but her foray to be the one and only ‘It Girl’ sure grinds the teeth of the She-Hulk heroine. In some ways, Titania highlights that influencer culture is the villain of today’s society.
“Oh, I think influencers can be fine. I just think that the ones who sell products that don’t really help people and who sell a fake unattainable lifestyle and appearance are kind of the villains of our generation,” said the 36-year-old actress.
She-Hulk thus far has been lauded to be witty and smart by reviewers and critics (read our review here) and Jamil emphasises this point further by adding that her character Titania is the perfect way to educate irresponsible influencers in a fun way.
“It felt very fitting and very clever, just go to write a supervillain as that because they have the power of these huge platforms and so they really do a lot of damage. And it was really fun and important, I think to satirise them. That felt better than scolding them. Finding a way to kind of show how ridiculous it is that people behave in the way that Titania does is, I think, quite effective to have that conversation in a way that feels a bit more tongue in cheek,” she continued.
Unfortunately for Titania, she isn’t the only ‘It Girl’ of the She-Hulk series. And no her “competition” isn’t just the tall and strong lawyer slash Avonger to be. Madisynn (with two Ns and Y and it’s not where you think) played by Patty Guggenheim, has been dubbed the best new MCU character ever since making her iconic debut in the series’ fourth episode titled ‘Is This Not Real Magic?’.
A participant in a magic show and newfound friend of Sorcerer Supreme aka Wongers’ (Benedict Wong), Madisynn is an eccentric civilian and a one-note bimbo who talks in specific millennial lingo and is forever tipsy. What was first meant to be a grating side character has become an icon to fans who have lobbied to see more of her – even going so far as to ask Marvel for a series focused on Sorceror Supreme Wong and Madisynn solving crimes across the multiverse. Thankfully for Madisynn, she isn’t on Titania’s radar (or at least not yet) because even actress Jamil agrees that the hilarious bimbo would actually win in an influencer engagement war against the villain.
“Oh, God, I think that my character would try harder. But I think Madison is just someone who is so naturally enigmatic, that I think Madison would actually win, but Titania will do everything possible to sabotage her,” laughed Jamil.
Whether a Wong and Madisynn solo series will ever come to fruition remains to be seen, but as an established character in the comics, the chances of a Titania solo series are never zero. As seen with Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness in WandaVision and Alaqua Cox’s Echo in Hawkeye, Marvel is open to having villains fronting a series of their own. Jamil can’t help but hope that fans love Titania enough to want to see more of her.
When asked what a Titania solo series would look like, Jamil responded, “That would be so fun and so ridiculous and so full of celebrities, I imagine that would be wild but I would love that!”
“It would take the fan base liking me and pushing for something like that, but I’m not going to count my chickens. If I get to do anything else in Marvel I will be really happy even if it’s catering,” she smiled.
If not for a solo series, Titania could also appear in any Marvel project. Simply because Titania has a problem with everyone. Quickly mentioning the much anticipated Thunderbolts movie, Jamil teases how there is much potential for Titania, should Marvel ever decide to let the actress don the red wig again.
“Well the character’s got beef with everyone! She’s got beef with Spider-Man, with Thor, all of the X-Men, I mean there could be a place for her in Thunderbolts or there could be a place for her in Deadpool like she really is hated by everyone!” laughed Jamil.
“The wealth of possibility for me, I’ve chosen the most annoying character in the MCU, just chef’s kiss, and so hopefully I get to do it again.”
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now streaming on Disney+.