How Zendaya Re-Made ‘Spider-Man’s’ Mary Jane to be More Like the Original Character


In the previous few years, Zendaya has soared in her profession, making the bounce from the Disney Channel to starring in HBO’s “Euphoria” and big-screen blockbusters corresponding to “The Greatest Showman.” But considered one of her first post-Disney roles was as MJ in 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and its 2019 sequel “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

In an interview for Variety’s Actors on Actors problem, “Pose” actor Mj Rodriguez requested Zendaya about placing her personal spin on the Marvel heroine.

“I was lucky because they already kind of wanted to re-create the character and turn her into a new version of what I think maybe the original Mary Jane character represented, and just do it in our own way in this Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Zendaya mentioned. “I kind of came into it and there was already on the page a smart, quick, sharp young girl who comes off a bit quirky or offbeat. I have a lot of fun doing it. I like being able to do comedy and things that aren’t so heavy.”

In the second movie, MJ’s position expands. “We got to travel so much for that last movie,” Zendaya mentioned. “I spent most of my time in London, and while you get up at three in the morning, I’m actually operating exterior the Tower of London earlier than it opens. I get to run from these killer drones that no person can see, as a result of they’re not there but.

“It’s massive,” Zendaya continued. “It’s very different from ‘Euphoria,’ where it’s close and you have more time. Whereas on something like ‘Spider-Man,’ it’s such a huge thing. And there’s so many secrets, and half of the script you can’t even read because there’s too many spoilers for, at the time, [Avengers] ‘Endgame’ and all these other things. It’s like, you don’t really know what you’re doing. It’s just so big that you’re like, ‘I’m just going to figure it out as I go.’”

As for her stunts, Zendaya tried to fly with Peter Parker. “And me swinging around, we did a real swing, but they didn’t end up using it,” Zendaya mentioned. “We ended up really just being carried maybe two feet off the ground.”

For extra from Variety’s dialog with Zendaya and Rodriguez, read our full story here.


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