Zendaya Says She Doesn't Play a Love Interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Wednesday, 09 November 2016 - 10:36AM
Marvel
Spider-Man
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Wednesday, 09 November 2016 - 10:36AM
Zendaya Says She Doesn't Play a Love Interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming
Ever since Zendaya was cast as the female lead in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we've all just assumed that she would also be a love interest (and probably a character from the comics). But according to the actress, she's not a love interest at all, and all of our speculation about her character might be entirely wrong.

Zendaya's character is reportedly named Michelle, which led many fans to believe that she will play a version of Michele Gonzales. There were also many, many rumors that she would play Mary-Jane, his most well-known love interest in the comics. But when asked in an interview with THR whether her character is "romantically involved with Peter Parker," she responded very decisively:

Opening quote
No [laughs]. My character is not romantic. My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual and because she's so smart, she just feels like she doesn't need to talk to people, like "My brain is so far ahead of you that you're just not really on my level." So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she's deep. She's always thinking about something, always reading. I like that.
Closing quote

To unpack Zendaya's statements a little bit, the fact that she's not currently romantically involved with Peter Parker when the movie starts doesn't necessarily mean that she's not playing Mary Jane or another comics love interest. It could just mean that they will be involved later in the film, or even in the sequel, and that she's treated as a character in her own right rather than *just* a love interest. The footage from SDCC seemed to indicate that she would be a Girl Friday-type figure, but hopefully a little more feminist than that.

She wouldn't confirm or deny that she's playing some version of Mary-Jane, but she did say that most of the gossip about her character has been just that—gossip:

Opening quote
Nothing [about who I am playing] is fact. It's like, you guys are just making shit up at this point and then reacting to it. Whenever we were on set, one of us gets some random character name [on the call sheet]. [Bloggers were] like, "Oh they must be so and so." And we just crack up about it, because it's like, "Whatever you want to think. You'll find out." It's funny to watch the guessing game.
Closing quote

She's probably trying very hard to avoid spoilers, regardless of whether or not this is true, but her statements are interesting. It's very possible that she's just playing an original character (or better yet, a superhero), and we've been making erroneous assumptions simply because she's a female lead. 

But that being said, it would be great to see her play a racially diverse version of a well-known character, especially after all of the racist backlash. In response to those internet reactions, Zendaya had this to say:

Opening quote
People are going to react over anything... Of course there's going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren't ready. I'm like, "I don't know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it's beautiful, and that's what should be reflected and that's what is reflected so you're just going to have to get over it."
Closing quote

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7, 2017.
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Spider-Man: Homecoming