We're all about surprises here at Suburbanites in Showbiz, and none comes nicer than a 9-year-old Naperville girl about to make her motion picture debut in the new superhero movie "Marvel's The Avengers."
M'Laah Kaur Singh plays a character called Young Calcutta Girl in a scene opposite Mark Ruffalo as Dr. Bruce Banner, before he turns into the Hulk.
Where have you seen M'Laah Kaur Singh before?You might have caught her public service announcements for the American Heart and Lung Association and the U.S. Census. Or maybe commercials for State Farm Insurance. The 9-year-old Naperville girl, named the 2007 Model of the Year in Chicago, was cast in a movie titled "The Perfection," but it has yet to be released. She also stars in a TV production, "Noodle and Doodle," with her little brother A'Naan.
M'Laah's mother, psychotherapist Jaslyn Singh, said she and her husband, dentist Amrik Singh, decided to see if showbiz might hold some promise for their daughter and son, 6-year-old A'Naan.
"I saw a spark in both of them early on," Jaslyn said. "M'Laah always said there're too many doctors in the family already, and wanted to do something different. She has a very sarcastic sense about her."
The Singh family hasn't seen "Avengers" yet. It opens at midnight screenings Thursday.
"We shot for a week in New Mexico with Mark Ruffalo," Jaslyn said. "M'Laah did amazing. I've always told people that the camera is her best friend. She's always fun to see in action."
So, what did this 9-year-old actress make of shooting what might be the biggest hit of the summer? We caught up with her at a Whole Foods store near her Naperville home.
Q. Do you like acting?
A. I love being an actress. It's great experience! You never know what the director is going to make you do. Like sometimes it makes no sense, but later turns out to be great (on screen).
Q. Did you meet the director, Joss Whedon?
A. Yeah. We were joking around a lot with each other. He would tease me a little bit. It was fun. He's nice. He can take a joke.
Q. In the movie, you speak Hindi to Mark Ruffalo. What did you say?
A. Well, I can't really give away too much information about the movie. Basically, I'm telling Mark Ruffalo, like, describing how my dad is. He (Ruffalo) is not my dad. He's a doctor.
Q. How much did the director tell you about your role?
A. He told me I was this poor Indian girl running around the streets. In my house, all the wood pieces on the floor are sticking up and everything. A funny thing, I tripped on the stairs when I was rushing around.
Q. Were you hurt?
A. Well, I was bleeding. But the director said I couldn't use a Band-Aid because we don't really want to see a Band-Aid in a movie.
Q. Good point. We understand that you didn't want to be a doctor like your parents.
A. Well, I do think the human body is really interesting, but I wanted to try something new. My parents have been telling me stories about my ancestors being doctors. Why not talk about one of our ancestors being a movie star?
Q. And that would be you?
Q. Do you have a favorite performer?
A. Oh, yeah! Selena Gomez. She's my idol! I love her and I think about her nonstop. I love Selena a lot. She's an actress and she inspired me. She sings beautifully, and I try to sing, like in the shower. I have to say that. Sometimes if I'm bored, I'll just start singing all of her songs.
Q. Do you like TV, commercials or movies best?
A. I would like to be in movies, mostly. Commercials are like two seconds long. I want to do longer movies where you can see everything about me.
Q. Are your parents supportive of your acting?
A. Yes, they can't wait for the movie to come out. They're actually a little more excited than me.
Q. Who's your favorite superhero of all-time?
A. He's amazing! That hammer is pretty cool. And his outfit. it looks like something you've never seen before.
Q. Did you meet Scarlett Johansson?
A. Yeah. I got to meet her for about five minutes while she was getting her makeup on because that was our only break time and the only time we had to say "Hi" to her. I have to say my mom was embarrassing me. She kept rubbing her hand and saying, "Oh, you're so pretty! You're so pretty!" I kept on elbowing her. I said that if she kept on doing that, she (Scarlett) is just going to think the wrong stuff!
Q. So what do you think about the movie business?
A. Well, I'm really excited for this movie. I just can't wait. My family in India has already seen the movie and the expectations are high. You never know what's going to happen next!
• Dann Gire and Jamie Sotonoff are always looking for suburban people in showbiz. If you know of someone, email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.