You may have heard of a little movie titled Spider-Man: Homecoming that came swinging into theaters this past weekend.
It stars the adorable and massively talented, Tom Holland.
It also stars some Hollywood heavy hitters such as Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, and Marisa Tomei.
That right there seems like enough to have a fantastic movie, but where Homecoming really shines is its young supporting cast.
It’s time to take a look into these young actors and all of the stars that aligned that led them to their roles in Marvel’s latest blockbuster hit.
Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds
It’s safe to say that Jacob Batalon, who plays Peter’s best Friend Ned aka “the guy in the chair”, is off to a pretty good start in Hollywood. If you weren’t able to recognize him from something else that’s because he’s only ever been in one other movie! Batalon starred in 2016’s North Woods, which according to IMDB follows a group of film students that are hungry to shoot a documentary on the Wendigo, little do they know there’s something lurking in the woods that is just as hungry. He played the character of Cooper (below).
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Batalon explained just how he got the coveted role in the new Marvel film.
“The first thing I auditioned for, it was Untitled Marvel Project,” Batalon said. “The specs were so general. It was like ‘Any body type, any age as long as you look like you’re 17,’ or something crazy. Literally anything, you could’ve been anything. And then you give you these fake sides for a self-tape, and then I got a callback self-tape and they gave me actual script…So, I did a screen test with Tom [Holland] and Sarah Finn, the casting director who I love with all my heart. She was the person who said, ‘Oh yeah, just wait two weeks and then we’ll let you know either way.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure. Great…”
Two weeks go by, you hear nothing. Another two weeks go by, you hear nothing. Basically, two-and-a-half months go by and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is the most depressing life period of my life…But then I get a phone call, I’ll tell you the whole date too, April 17, 2016, 10:47 PM at night. My manager at the time calls me up and he’s like, ‘Bro, they want you in the film. But wait, they don’t know who you’re gonna play yet.’ And I’m like, ‘You motherf—er. You f—ing crazy!’ And I was just going crazy.”
Batalon had just graduated from film school in New York City when he got the call that he had officially been cast as Ned Leeds. Talk about an epic graduation present!
Zendaya as Michelle
Zendaya may have a bit more of a familiar face to the younger generation of Spider-man movie-goers. She first appeared on Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie as Rocky Blue. She would later go on to star in Shake It Up alongside Bella Thorne for 3 years playing the same character of Rocky Blue. Her Disney filmography does not stop there though. She is currently starring on Disney’s K.C. Undercover as K.C. Cooper, the technologically savvy black belt following in the footsteps of her spy parents. It has been running since 2015. You will soon be able to see her showing off her singing and dancing chops in the upcoming Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron musical, The Greatest Showman this Christmas.
She also is the latest addition to the CoverGirl family and released a single in 2016 titled “Something New” with Chris Brown. It currently has over 27 million listens.
Even though Zendaya is a now starring in a huge blockbuster franchise she still is recognizant of where she comes from and the importance of staying true to herself.
“I have little kids that look up to me and I think of that as a responsibility,” she also said in her Ellen interview. “And I know there are so many parents that come up to me and just hearing them say thank you for being that for my daughter or for my son and being that inspiration for them. That is everything to me. I take that very, very seriously.”
When it came time to audition for Spider-Man, her youthful filmography seemed to be a perfect match for the tone of the film, but she definitely had her reservations about it when speaking to Ellen DeGenerous on Ellen.
“When it comes to the acting space, I’m basically unknown. I’ve never been in a real movie before or anything like that, so I had to start from the bottom like anyone else…I auditioned and auditioned and auditioned and [broke] down those walls because a lot of people do have that pre-conceived notion of who I am based off previous things I’ve done, so you got to really break that down and go hard, put in the work, take all the meetings, take all the auditions.”
While her exact role in the Spider-Man films has yet to be fully fleshed out, it’s clear that Zendaya has got a great head on her shoulders and is a great addition to the promising young cast.
Laura Harrier – Liz
Much like Batalon, Laura Harrier, who plays Peter’s love interest in the film, is somewhat new to the Hollywood scene. Her first gig listed on IMDB was the role of Destiny Evans on One Life to Live. She recurred for 40 episodes and used this as a great stepping stone to get some other projects. She had a quick role in the Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan musical The Last Five Years and also appeared in 2015’s 4th Man Out. Soon after, she scored the role of Liz.
Harrier doesn’t seem to be stopping there, though. She will be starring alongside another superhero in the upcoming HBO presentation, Farenheit 451. The TV movie will also star The Fantastic Four and Black Panther’s Michael B. Jordan. It will follow Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel of the same name where a fireman named Guy Montag struggles with his order to burn all books after meeting a young girl.
When asked by Comicbook.com about waiting to hear that she had landed the role of Liz, Harrier had this to say:
“I waited for six weeks before they told me anything which was torture,” she said. “But at that point, I was like it’s just been so long, I probably just didn’t even get it. I haven’t heard anything. This is forever. I was just trying to get it out of my head. When that phone call came, I was just like, ‘Holy s—. Okay, wow!’ Not expecting it.”
Originally from Chicago, Harrier found her way to New York City for school but fell into modeling shortly after. She has worked with companies such as American Eagle, Target, L’Oreal, and most recently, Calvin Klein.
Tony Revolori – Flash Thompson
Rounding out the young supporting cast is Tony Revolori, who plays Parker’s rival Flash Thompson in the film. Of the younger actors, Revolori is probably the one that stands out the most as someone you’ve seen before. His filmography is quite extensive starting back in 2004. He has had guest starring roles in shows such as Entourage, My Name is Earl, and Shameless. Revolori also had a role in the Oscar-winning movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and the critically favored film, Dope. Most recently you have probably seen him in the Anna Kendrick and Lisa Kudrow dramedy, Table 19 and a recurring role in FOX’s Son of Zorn.
Thompson has typically been portrayed as your stereotypical bully, but Revolori was able to bring a new kind of depth to the character. When interviewed by comingsoon.net he got into a little bit more detail about changing up the character to be more of a psychological bully as opposed to a physical one for Homecoming.
“We didn’t want to make him just a bully of old. How do we bring it up? And nowadays the bully culture is online! How do you personify an online bully? That was the goal for me, to try to personify that: Why is he that way? Where does he come from? Why does he do that? Does he realize the gravitas of his words and all that? So I think that’s kind of where it stemmed from. And the filmmakers Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal] and Kevin [Feige], they all had ideas for him to become more of a rival than a bully.”
You can catch Revolori in the upcoming film Please Stand By starring Dakota Fanning and Toni Collete.