Cast speak about growing up with 'Spider-Man'

Cast speak about growing up with 'Spider-Man'

From left, actors Jacob Batalon, Tom Holland and Zendaya answer questions from reporters during an online press conference for the film, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Tuesday. / Courtesy of Sony Pictures

By Kwak Yeon-soo

Tom Holland, who plays the titular hero in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” gave a sneak peek into the latest installment in the franchise, sharing his thoughts about the superhero film and how his take on Peter Parker differs from earlier Spider-Man runs starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

“We leaned into high school aspects of the character. We grounded him in reality, gave him everyday problems and made a film about a high schooler being a superhero rather than a superhero being a high schooler. For me, that’s probably the main difference,” he told reporters.

In an online press conference with Korean reporters, Holland also talked about the bittersweet end of the “Spider-Man” trilogy.

“It’s very emotional for the three of us. We started working together when we were 19 years old. We became fast friends and had grown up together and become a family outside of the Spider-Man universe,” Holland said.

“It’s a bit unclear what the future holds. To potentially walk away from this character is incredibly emotional. But it’s something that I think we are all ready to do because we all achieved what we wanted to with this franchise.”

Zendaya revealed how she has grown in several ways after stepping into the role of MJ in “Spider-Man.”

“Spider-Man was my first big movie. It was extremely special. Coming back every time, I still feel like a teenager…like I’m doing it for the first time. That’s how excited I feel. I’ve grown up as a human being and learned so much from working with Tom and Jacob and watching director Jon Watts work,” she said.

Jacob Batalon, who portrays Peter Parker’s best friend Ned Leeds, shared his on- and off-camera chemistry with Holland.

“Peter and Ned are always best friends. All our relationship stood up throughout the entire series and we have basically grown into a family. Outside of the movie, of course, we are a family as well. We have been in each other’s lives for five years and I don’t plan on ever leaving them. I’m stuck with them forever,” he said with a laugh.

Cast speak about growing up with 'Spider-Man'

A scene from the film “Spider-Man: No Way Home” / Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The cast echoed that being in the “Spider-Man” films has been one of the most special parts of their lives.

“What’s been really special about these characters and about the way this series has grown over the years is the fact that it’s nice and slow. Nothing feels rushed or like we’re just throwing it in there,” Zendaya said.

“We literally watched them grow up from a first movie where we barely even talked to each other, to the second movie where we finally get our special moment to the third movie where Peter and MJ are finally together.”

Holland mentioned how proud he is that Spider-Man has become an instrumental piece of puzzle for the Marvel Cinematic Universe after appearing in “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019.

“We were lucky to have existed with the Avengers. Bringing Spider-man into the bigger world only gave us endless possibilities to what we can do with these films,” he said.

The 25-year-old star talked about how he bonded with director Bong Joon-ho over his favorite football player Son Heung-min, who goes by the nickname Sonny.

“Sonny is my favorite football player. He is a real inspiration. He seems to be loving his football, which is always refreshing to see. I had a meeting with Bong Joon-ho the other day and we just spoke about how much we love Sonny,” he said.

Meanwhile, Zendaya also recounted her experience meeting with “Squid Game” star Jung Ho-yeon at the CFDA Fashion Awards.

“I think she is incredibly talented. Like my life with Spider-Man, her life has changed so quickly overnight and I had such an empathy for that. I extended the invite, saying if she was ever in LA, she could come to our Euphoria set. Then she actually came by set. She has such a lovely energy to be around, and I hope I get to know her more,” she said.

“Spider-Man: No Way Home” will hit local theaters, Dec. 15.

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