Casting for films can be very specific, with actors being chosen or rejected for a variety of small reasons that actors may have no control over and when it came to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Zendaya reveals that she was concerned she wouldn't get the role of Michelle because of her height.
Zendaya tells Variety that while she was excited about the role, her first meeting with Tom Holland for a chemistry read introduced a new set of concerns for the actress.
"I was worried because he's so much shorter than me. I was like, 'Damn it! It's going to be weird because I'm super tall.' But then we ended up doing the audition sitting. So that was good."
Despite Zendaya's concerns about her height, the difference between the actress and Holland isn't a particularly huge gap. Zendaya stands two inches taller than Holland at 5' 10" and her height didn't end up being an issue. However, she explained that she had an additional concern about getting the role.
"A lot of the time, the thought process of an actor of color is 'I'm going to go and give it my best shot, but they are probably not going to go with an actor of color for this,'" she said.
Ultimately, Zendaya was cast as Michelle “MJ” Jones in the film, an original character that’s a twist on the comic book’s iconic other MJ, Mary Jane.
“I didn't know they were going to switch up the characters and really cast the best people for the roles, instead of what's most like the comic book,” she said. “I think that was the coolest part for me, knowing they embraced the diversity."