Spider-Man: Homecoming star Marisa Tomei discusses Aunt May’s relationship with her nephew, Peter Parker (Tom Holland), in the film. Both Holland and Tomei made their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year in Captain America: Civil War, which featured Peter Parker being taken under the wing of Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). Now, as part of Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures deal to bring Spider-Man into the MCU, the webslinging hero is set to lead his own heroic installment in the massive superhero shared universe.
Of course, Homecoming marks the third live-action version of Spider-Man to grace the big screen in the past two decades – with Tomei playing the third iteration of Peter’s Aunt May. However, the way Jon Watts’ Homecoming sets itself apart is by portraying a much younger Peter Parker than those played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, with the character being a high school sophomore. Similarly, Tomei plays a younger version of Aunt May, and the actress explains how that alters her and Holland’s characters’ dynamic.
During the press junket for Spider-Man: Homecoming this past weekend, Screen Rant had a chance to sit down with Tomei to discuss Aunt May’s relationship with Peter Parker, how it’s influenced by the Uncle Ben backstory, and where she hopes to see her character go in future films.
How is Aunt May and Peter’s relationship different in Homecoming versus other Spider-Man movies?
Tomei: Well he’s playing it younger and he’s about 15 in this film. He’s in high school and so I think all the characters are a little bit younger. We’re really picking up — in Captain America, we really talked about the backstory, I mean the recent back story of losing Uncle Ben and now we’re kind of moving forward as a duo. We’re the real dynamic duo.
How does that Uncle Ben backstory affect May’s relationship with Peter?
Tomei: I think there’s a shared understanding of what we’ve both been through, and it makes us very reliant on each other, and watch out for each other, and really enjoy each other as well. She’s got to be sure he’s still having fun in the midst of all his studies. Even though he’s so capable and has so much potential as a student and as a protege of Stark Industries. But he also has got to get out there and have a party.
And what would you like to see explored in Peter and May’s relationship in future movies?
Tomei: Someone just told me that she came up in Ant-Man, so maybe I could be Ant-Aunt. There was something like that, that I was very interested in, suddenly realizing I could maybe be a superhero, too. And maybe she puts on his costume, maybe that happens, maybe she goes out with Tony Stark for a little while. I don’t know, there’s a lot of things that could happen.
Speaking of May getting her own heroic storyline, a while ago it was reported that Sony was interested in doing an Aunt May spy movie. Is that something you’re interested in or something you think would fit with this franchise?
Tomei: What? You guys know way more than I do. First of all, it took her forever to find out about Peter, so I don’t know what level of spy she would be, but I would like the idea of a big magnifying glass. Did they really, did you really hear that?
I did, really.
Tomei: I’m all for it.
So how do you feel about how Tony Stark influences Peter in this movie? We see Peter grow and change because of his relationship with Tony, how do you think May feels about that?
Tomei: She sees him changing, and in some negative ways, maybe getting too stressed, very stressed about work and his work ethic, his work level, but she doesn’t know this whole other thing is going on. She blames Tony a little bit for that.
We get to see a lot of really great May and Peter moments in this movie, is there anything you would have liked to have seen in this movie between them?
Want to elaborate?
Tomei: I don’t want to say it.
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Directed by Jon Watts. Produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal. Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Screen Story by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley, Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
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