There's no other trio like Spider-Man and his crew, FOS (Friends of Spider-Man) lead by Fil-Am Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds. In this fresh BTS video, Jacob reacts to his audition tape for the first time alongside his mega co-stars Spidey himself, Tom Holland and the witty MJ, played by Zendaya. The casting was perfect for the film, but what's better is the chemistry they have off-screen. Check out how they watch each other's auditions and laugh at how far they've come as a group.
Sit back, share a laugh, and feel part of the crew with this BTS look.
After completing a two-year acting program at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Jacob took a leap and auditioned for an unnamed Marvel project. His audition landed him his first major film role and take part in one of the most highest-grossing films. Watch as a fresh, young Jacob Batalon navigates through the audition jitters and nail comedic timing that had the whole group laughing and earning him a "what a cutie" comment from Zendaya. Jacob said that the audition process was a lot, but we're pretty sure it was worth it.
If you're looking for more BTS from the cast, find out if Jacob is really BFFs with Tom Holland as they put their friendship to the test in this lie detector challenge.
Cover Photo Credit: SpiderManMovie Twitter
*Warning Spoilers Ahead
Spider-Man: No Way Home broke records on its opening weekend with a debut earning of $587.2 Million worldwide, but now Jacob Batalon has helped get Fil-Am representation on the big screen. Jacob Batalon broke the stereotype as Ned Leeds, Spider-Man's BFF, and the guy in the chair and gave the character a new perspective. Opposite from the physical description in the comics, Ned Leeds is a Fil-Am STEM high school student. In No Way Home, the audience gets to see more of Ned's personal and relatable Fil-Am life.
*Again, Spoilers Ahead!
Early this year, rumors circulated that Disney/Marvel was casting for a "Filipino or Filipino-American female, 50 to 90 years old fluent in English." Spider-Man: No Way Home was in production and now we finally have the answers! Mary Rivera was cast as Ned Leeds' Lola!
Marvel and Director Jon Watts do a great job in adding important details that represent a Filipino household. The props from the sewing machine, the pandesal MJ's holding, and a photo of Ned just tell us were in his neck of the woods. One of the coolest parts is how Tagalog was incorporated in the film! Lola didn't need any subtitles. Ned translated for her when speaking to MJ and a couple of new BFFs. It showed the close relationship Ned has with his Lola. Many of us can relate to Ned and having translate for our grandparents to help them communicate.
We definitely called that Ned's Lola would be as funny as he is and that she'll be everyone's Lola. Mary Rivera's Lola wasn't a small role either. She helped welcome the biggest storyline in the movie, introducing Andrew Garfield's Amazing Spider-Man and Tobey Maguire's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.
Just like many Lolas, she gets them to clean up the cobwebs on the ceiling and scolds the superheroes for making a mess. It's one of the funniest scenes. Not only that, Marvel had everyone addressing her as Lola. Respect is a huge trait in the Filipino culture and the fact that everyone from Zendaya to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire's characters called her Lola instead of a first name shows how much thought Jon Watts and the crew put into it.
The small details of the scene may get overlooked because of the bigger storyline, but as a Fil-Am, it's touching. It's a huge win for all of us and another step towards more representation in media. Mary River was a great Lola, and Jacob Batalon broke barriers playing a main character like Ned. Lola may not have been in the scene with all three Spider-Mans, but it's probably safe to say her favorite was the OG Peter Parker.
Representation matters. It's important for the younger generation or any generation to see themselves in mainstream media. Jacob Batalon and Mary Rivera showed what a Filipino apo (grandchild) and Lola's relationship looks like to people around the world. Something we know well is now portrayed in one of the biggest films this year.
If you've read this far and haven't seen the film, run to your closest cinema and watch it! If you've already seen it, time to go watch the film again!
Cover Photo Credit: Spider-Man: No Way Home Twitter
Jacob Batalon is back at it again with another magazine cover. Jacob shared his first magazine cover debut a few weeks ago with 1883 Magazine and mentioned it was his first "of many" to come. This time he takes the digital cover of arts and culture publication "A Book Of."
Jacob shares his enthusiasm in a caption on Instagram revealing that the creatives behind the shoot, from the Photography to the styling and grooming, were Filipino. It's always great to see representation in front and behind the camera. The photos were shot by Irvin Rivera, styled by Estelle Aporongao and Make-up and Grooming by Jeni Chua.
To top things off, Jacob and the rest of the Spider-Man No Way Home cast just shattered worldwide records with a $587.2 Million worldwide debut. This marks the third-biggest global debut of all time. Jacob is also finishing off the year strong as he goes into production for the lead role in SYFY's new show Reginald The Vampier.
Check out Jacob's cover story here.
Cover Photo Courtesy of A Book Of Website