We were invited by Sony to participate in the Spider-Man: Homecoming press event.
Being popular in high school is about as normal as taking a required high school arithmetic course. Some kids have a desire for it, while others could care less about it. There is no denying that it still exists, and will most likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. But nowadays, young people are encouraged to be themselves and not just follow what is currently trending. That is especially true in Spider-Man: Homecoming where the film says that you can be cool and a nerd at the same time.
When asked about what younger audiences should take away from the film, Jacob Batalon, who plays Ned Leeds, said, “Our message is, you don’t have to be the jock or the cool person in high school to be yourself. The coolest version of yourself is yourself. We’re like nerds and we love to be smart and that’s okay. And there’s nothing wrong with being yourself.”
Laura Harrier, who plays Liz Allen, chimed in with “Yeah, you don’t have to apologize for being who you are. Everyone in this movie is so different but genuinely kind of themselves. Like Zendaya’s character, who is very different but not ashamed of it. Same with Liz, Ned, Flash, and everybody, if teenagers can take that away, that would be great.”
Indeed, Zendaya plays Michelle, whose role is still wrapped in a shroud of mystery – at least to those who have yet to see the film. But based on the trailers, we see Michelle as an introverted outsider who can be quite outspoken when she wants to be. In fact, Zendaya took some inspiration from Ally Sheedy’s role of Allison Reynolds in the Breakfast Club. “It was definitely an inspiration because I didn’t know what kind of character I was playing until I showed up,” Zendaya said.
The actress talked about how these kinds of roles are top secret but how fun it is to see where the character could go. She added that director Jon Watts gave her a couple of references, with Sheedy’s Breakfast Club role being one of them. “ Just making that distinct character and making somebody that I think was different and embracing the weird. Telling everybody that it’s okay to be weird. That is okay. It’s okay to be exactly who you are,” Zendaya said. “I love that she’s outspoken and she says what everybody is thinking, but she just doesn’t care. I think a lot of people should have that, a little more. So it was fun playing that dry version of myself.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017.