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Interview: Shameik Moore Takes Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The actor dreamed of playing a black Spider-Man as a teen. His dream came true!

December 10, 2018

kids articles

By: Lynn Barker

Young actor Shameik (pronounced Sham-eek) Moore, star of the indie film Dope and the TV series “The Get Down”, voices Spider-Man in the already-acclaimed new animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In this interview, the actor will inspire many a young person with the candid story of how he got the job and what he hopes everyone who sees the film will learn and enjoy. It’s cool that the movie supports diversity among superheroes and villains alike. As Shameik says “Anyone can wear the mask”. Check it out! 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Trailer 

Q: How did you get involved in doing the voice of Miles?

  • Shameik: For me it was a law of attraction thing. I was filming the movie Dope. I was about eighteen and I wrote in my journal, ‘I am Miles Morales. I am Spider-Man’. I saw an earlier version of Miles Morales and I looked and saw myself in the mirror then looked back at the screen and he looked just like me! At that moment I didn’t know there was a Black Spider-Man. He had the low cut just like me. It just looked like they took a photo of me and animated it so I always felt like I was that Spider-Man. 

Miles as Spidey launches himself into New YorkMiles as Spidey launches himself into New YorkCourtesy of Sony Pictures
  • I got involved when the directors from this movie came to see Dope at Sundance (film festival) and they were in the room the first time that I, and a lot of people, saw it and they were like ‘Yeah, him. We want him to be Miles Morales. There is something about this guy that we like’. They then had their auditions but they came back to me. It took like six months waiting but they came back. They were like ‘We want you to be Miles Morales. It’s confirmed’ and Boom! That’s my story.

Shameik Moore at New York Comic-ConShameik Moore at New York Comic-ConCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: When you wrote that in your journal, why did you?

  • Shameik: Seeing a cartoon where he looked like me really did stick with me. I mean I genuinely like Peter Parker. I watched all the movies that came out but I always felt like ‘When they make a Black Spider-Man, I’m already him.’ It ended up coming to life. Now there is another character written in my journal but because I’m now promoting a Marvel character, we won’t talk about that.  

Miles Morales (Spider-Man) falls into an alternate NYCMiles Morales (Spider-Man) falls into an alternate NYCCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q:  Humm, wonder who that is? The movie is going to impact a lot of multi-cultural kids. How do you feel about that?

  • Shameik:  As time goes by, as we get closer to release, I realize it more and more. At first I was just thinking about my nephews because my brother has two children and they can’t see my film Dope or “The Get Down” but they can watch Spider-Man so I was like ‘Yo!’. So I do realize the importance of it for Afro-Latino or mixed race kids. With great power comes great responsibility. I feel that.

Shameik Moore in The Get DownShameik Moore in The Get Down

Q: How do you feel about Spider-Gwen in this film?

  • Shameik: She’s cool. She saves Miles’ life a few times. She’s funny. We have awesome cool moments. She enables women to look at this movie and have another person to look up to and to be like other than Mary Jane.

Miles Morales with Gwen Stacy and Peter ParkerMiles Morales with Gwen Stacy and Peter ParkerCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: What do you love about your character Miles Morales?

  • Shameik: I love that he’s Afro-Latino. I think he’s a nice human being. He’s playful and willing to learn. He’s a kid. He’s fifteen. He’s easy-going. He’s from Brooklyn. I lived in Brooklyn for two years when I was filming “The Get Down” TV series. I feel like I relate. I still have my mother and father. He has his mother and father. My parents love me very much so do his.
  • I draw a lot of parallels with Miles and my life. He’s a creative soul. I’m a creative soul. We both have barriers to get over like me getting used to going to Young Marines or an all boys’ military school, and he’s getting used to being in his uppity prep school. Thankfully I haven’t had any major humps in life. Mine are getting to the place I am now in my acting career or getting into my music further. Thankfully, I haven’t had a life where I’ve had a lot of loss or have tragic things happen to me.

Miles Morales is in awe of his new Spidey-powersMiles Morales is in awe of his new Spidey-powersCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: How do you like Miles’ new powers?

  • Shameik: These are really cool things. It’s even cooler when the animation was done and we’re looking at it and I remember ‘Oh snap! He’s got powers. He’s just as apt as Peter (Parker)’. Did you know that he can turn invisible? That’s a pretty big thing. He can stick to walls of course and he has a venom strike.

Spider-Gwen, Peter Parker Spidey and Miles meet in the woodsSpider-Gwen, Peter Parker Spidey and Miles meet in the woodsCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: How do you think seeing Miles as Spider-Man will inspire young people?

  • Shameik: They’ll think that anybody has the power to wear the mask and save the world, change it for the better. Anyone can come up with that idea that changes everything. With great power comes great responsibility. When you have that idea, when you have the skills, when you’re placed in certain positions, you should take the responsibility seriously. You should elevate all those around you and yourself.

Miles swings into actionMiles swings into actionCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Other than the obvious fans, who is this movie for?

  • Shameik: It’s a movie that everybody can watch. This movie is so unique, the style of it. It starts out where you might say, ‘What am I watching exactly?’ And, the further it gets into it, all this stuff just gets crazier and crazier. All it’s gonna take is for you to sit down in a theater and the work does the rest. You’ve just got to sit down and enjoy it.

With great power comes great responsibilityWith great power comes great responsibilityCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Q: Since it’s animated, did you forget that it was you (your voice) up there when you saw the film?

  • Shameik: Hey, I’m a vain actor, heck no!

Spirder-Man: Into The Spider-Verse PosterSpirder-Man: Into The Spider-Verse PosterCourtesy of Sony Pictures

See Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in theaters Friday, December 14th

What is Your Take?

Let fellow Kidzworld visitors know how you feel about the Spider-Man universe? Are you going to be into this new animated movie version. Are you okay with multiple spider-people? Leave a comment and/or write about it on your profile page.