Marisa Tomei on Playing Aunt May in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ Sequels and Hollywood Sexism

Variety | 7/21/2017 | Staff
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After one Oscar win, two nominations, and roles in more than 60 movies, Marisa Tomei needs no introduction. Yet playing Aunt May in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” has changed the energy around her. She noticed it on the day of her interview with Variety when a disdainful contractor in her Manhattan building in the West Village suddenly offered a welcoming smile. “He pulled out a picture for me to sign for his son,” Tomei recalled, with a laugh.

With nearly $500 million in box office receipts worldwide, “Spider-Man” is one of the biggest hits of the year. The reboot of the comic-book series features Tom Holland as a high-school web slinger. And his Aunt May is hipper, too, than the version played by Rosemary Harris in the 2002 tentpole. Tomei spoke to Variety about not watching other “Spider-Men” films and how she found the character.

Reception - Spider-Man

How has the reception been to your “Spider-Man?”

I think the most gratifying has been the reaction from the super fans. They are really happy and their standards are very exacting.

Marvel - Aunt - May

Is it true that Marvel pitched her to you as a sexy Aunt May?

I don’t know if Marvel said it. My agents said it to me. I think they were trying to disarm me, because how would they know if I’d seen the comics. And then when I saw the parasol and the high-Victorian collar, I was like, “Is she just loony?” I think they were trying to pre-empt my terror, which didn’t work, because I was like, “Why do they keep saying that?” It’s not like that one quality is a character. I don’t even know what that means in the scheme of things. It’s confusing, because you’re an aunt.

Was - Script - Part

Was there a script when they offered the part to you?

No. It all happened pretty fast before “Captain America: Civil...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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