Last Sunday, ZayZay.com attended a press conference to promote the new. It was a huge conference attended by director Jon Watts, producers Amy Pascal and Kevin Faige, as well as all the main and supporting cast, including Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael Keaton.
It was clear from their interactions that the cast and crew held a lot of genuine affection for each other; they joked through the entire press conference like one large, famous family. Jacob Batalon, who plays Ned Leeds, was ribbed multiple times and gave back his fair share after the cast voted him as the biggest clown on set. Tom Holland also added that after Batalon’s part had wrapped he kept showing up on set and essentially moved in.
There was a lot of talk about the diversity of the film’s cast, but when directly asked what the inspiration for the diversity was, Amy Pascal answered in the most matter-of-fact way, “I would say the inspiration for it was reality.” This attitude was one of the most amazing things about both the cast and the film itself. There was no veiled apology for the casting decisions and the film didn’t try to explain anything, it just entertained. Tony Revolori, who plays Flash Thompson, perhaps said it best. He briefly thanked the director and producers for “casting a 5-foot-8 brown guy to play a 6-foot-2 blond-haired, blue-eyed guy,” and later added, “When you see the film, there isn’t a single line of exposition to explain why I look the way I look, and I think that’s wonderful. I think that’s the kind of diversity we need in Hollywood now.”
Another overarching theme of the movie itself is self-acceptance, and many of the younger cast members spoke about it at length. Batalon said, “Our message is that you don’t have to be the cool person in high school to be yourself, you know. The coolest version of yourself is yourself. We’re like nerds, and we love to be smart, and that’s ok.” Laura Harrier, who plays Liz Allen, also added, “You don’t have to apologize for who you are. Everyone in this movie is so different, but genuinely kind of themselves.” Finally, Zendaya chimed in while discussing her character—who is unique, to say the least. She talked about embracing the weird to make her character Michelle different and then added, “Young people, it’s ok to be weird, that is okay and it’s okay to be exactly who you are. And if you make things awkward and uncomfortable, as long as you cool, that’s the most important thing.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in theaters everywhere July 7th. Have a look at the livestream of the press conference down below, and come see the film to experience Spider-Man as you’ve never seen him before!
by Kara Hauenstein