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Tom and Zendaya Talk Spider-Man: Homecoming

Jul 03, 2017

By: Lynn Barker

In Spider-Man: Homecoming, young Tom Holland, who had his debut as the superhero in last year’s Captain America: Civil War film, plays Spidey as a confused high school teen hoping to use his powers to win the girl of his dreams; well that and become a true member of his beloved Avengers.  We know that Tony Stark/Iron Man has taken him under his wing for better or worse and their relationship continues in this new film. Tom was a fan of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films and can’t believe he is now playing the web-slinger on the big screen.

Tom Holland surrounded by Spider fansTom Holland surrounded by Spider fansCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Singer/Actress Zendaya was a fan fave alongside Bella Thorne in the TV series “Shake It Up” then on to the “K.C. Undercover” series and some TV movies. She’s stoked to play Peter’s outspoken and quirky classmate Michelle, a very different role for her.

This Spidey film puts the emphasis on youth. Its young cast tells us the film’s message: “You don't have to be the jock and you don't have to be the cool person in high school to be yourself. The coolest version of yourself is yourself. We’re nerds and we love to be smart, and that's o.k.”

Peter Parker hones his powersPeter Parker hones his powersCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Another castmember has said “You don't have to apologize for who you are. Everyone in this movie is so different, but genuinely kind of themselves, especially Zendaya's character, who is very different but not ashamed of it. The same with Liz and Ed and Flash, everybody. I think if teenagers can take that away, that would be great.

Q: Tom, how do you feel about the responsibility of taking on a beloved character like Spidey?

  • Tom: I think the thing I had to remind myself most when I first took on this character was that Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man had such a huge impact on me as a kid. He was my role model growing up. He was my favorite character, so I had to keep reminding myself that I'm going to have that same impact on kids of the younger generation. I really wanted to do them proud and to be a solid role model for them, and also just make a young, fresh version of the character we know and love so well.

Spidey to the rescueSpidey to the rescueCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: You seem to be having a lot of fun in the film.

  • Tom: I did! Well, the question that Jon (Watts, the director) and I asked ourselves is, if you gave a 15-year-old super powers, he would have the time of his life and when I made this movie, I had the time of my life, so it really sort of comes across on screen.

Q: Zendaya, this is your first big movie. What was that like for you?

  • Zendaya: It was incredible. I've done a lot of things in my little career so far, but this is my first big movie so I was terrified. I suppressed it very well, but it's amazing to be here and I think all of us still feel like it's a bit of a dream. I don't know when it's going to feel real, but it definitely doesn't feel real right now, and I don't mind living in this dream. I think I enjoy it here, so I'm going to keep doing it.

Zendaya as MichelleZendaya as MichelleCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Tom you impressed everyone in your first big movie The Impossible when you were 15 or 16 but now you are Spider-Man. Could you have guessed that?

  • Tom: I've been so lucky in my career. I feel like I've been in the right place at the right time in every turn. I've gotten to work with who I would consider to be the best of the best and learn from people. Every movie has been a very different experience to me, and I've been able to play different characters without having to go too far. Now that I'm sort of finding myself a little bit, I'm looking to go a little bit further.

Your friendly neighborhood Spider-ManYour friendly neighborhood Spider-ManCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Is seeing your face everywhere overwhelming?

  • Tom: This job since day one has been a roller coaster. It's the job that keeps on giving. It has never ceased to amaze me. The fact that I'm here with these guys promoting this movie is insane and it, like Zendaya said, does not feel real in any way possible. I read a comic yesterday, which is based off of my face. What the hell? So, nothing has sunk in. This really feels like I'm about to wake up and be very disappointed.

Peter and his buddy admire a hot classmatePeter and his buddy admire a hot classmateCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: How would you say that Spider-Man's relationship with Tony Stark has evolved since Avengers: Civil War?

  • Tom: I think the relationship between the two of us is more interesting from his point of view because he suddenly has someone to think about other than Tony Stark. He really cares about Peter, and one of the reasons why he doesn't really want Peter to become an Avenger is because he doesn't want the responsibility of something happening to Peter on his conscience. So it's a nice sort of back and forth of me saying, "Look, I'm powerful enough to be an Avenger" and him saying, "But you're not ready to be an Avenger." So it's a fun back and forth, just like a big brother/little brother, dad/son type situation.

Spidey with backpackSpidey with backpackCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Zendaya, your character Michelle is offbeat like Ally Sheedy’s in the classic movie The Breakfast Club. Was it interesting playing her?

  • Zendaya: Definitely inspiration there. I didn't really know what kind of character I was playing until I showed up, because everything was kind of top secret. So I read the script and I was like, "O.k., she's interesting. All right. This is going to be fun." Then I met with Jon and he had so many different references, and that was definitely one of them.
  • It was really fun just making that distinct character, making somebody that I think was different and embracing the weird. It's o.k. to be weird and it's o.k. to be exactly who you are. If you make things awkward and uncomfortable, as long as you’re cool (it’s fine). That's the most important thing. So I love that she's outspoken. I love that she says what everybody's thinking, but she just doesn't care. I think that a lot of young people should have that a little bit more, so it was fun playing that dry kind of version of myself, really.

Zendaya at the Spider-Man: Homecoming PremiereZendaya at the premiereCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Tom, you have a dance and acrobatic background, so can you talk about that and then how that played into doing your stunts and how did you master hanging upside down?

  • Tom: You can't really master hanging upside down. it's not something I've been prepared for. But yeah, my dancing and gymnastics background was so helpful to this project because we were able to do things as Peter Parker that they probably hadn't been able to do in the past, but that said, sometimes they would overestimate my skill set. Jon would be like, "Can you just back flip off that wall and land on that beam?" I'm like, "No, Jon. I can't do that. I'm not that good, dude." "Just climb up that wall." I'm like, "I can't do that, Jon."

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie PosterSpider-Man: Homecoming PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

See Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you glad this new Spider-Man is a teen with the usual teen problems? Just glad he’s still cool? Or, are you more into Batman or Wonder Woman? Leave a comment!