Akira Akbar on her dream superpower and finding confidence

If you stan superhero movies but find yourself feeling a little bored by the overwhelming white dudeness of most classic comic franchises then a) you're not alone at all and b) you should immediately add We Can Be Heroes to your Netflix queue (streaming now!).

The movie (which happens to be a sequel to the cult classic The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D) stars a cast of unique, diverse heroes that, tbh, is exactly what hero movies need right now. 

One of the most original new leads in the movie is Fast Forward, a teen with the ability to speed up time for anyone stuck in a situation that they need to, well, fast forward through (clearly a power we all could have used IRL recently). The awesome human behind this hero is Akira Akbar, 14, and consider these answers all the introduction you need.

If you could have any superpower in real life, what would it be?

"I'd love to teleport because I can't drive. I think it'd be super cool to go anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. A lot of the time, I'd use the power to go to Chick-fil-A because I love Chick-fil-A but, for a longer trip, I'd go to Alaska—I have family there. Plus, I've never felt snow, so I'd want to check that out." 

How did you and your We Can Be Heroes castmates bond?

"We played Just Dance and battled each other; it was so much fun. I dance and do ballet so I think that's kind of what fueled me to victory. I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I was kind of the best dancer." 

That confidence is amazing! What advice do you have for anyone who has a hard time owning it?

"Act confident, even if you're not. When I was younger, I was bullied because I was small. And that made me act small. One day, a girl who I thought was my friend actually picked me up and put me in a trash can. Literally. And when I told my mom about it, she was like, 'What? That is unacceptable.' That's when I decided I wasn't going to act small anymore. I started sticking up for myself and built up my confidence." 

Now that's a superpower.

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our February/March 2021 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Image: Akira Akbar/Instagram.

by Kayleigh Roberts | 1/10/2021