On Friday, November 4, Filipino-American actor Jacob Batalon — born and raised in Hawaii — stopped by Damien Memorial School, his alma mater (Class of 2014), and spoke with the performing arts class. During the visit, the 20-year-old discussed his acting technique, offered advice on how to get noticed, and shared his approach to playing Ned Leeds, Peter Parker's best friend in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
"Ned is really an innocent, genuine, sweet kid," Batalon shared. "And so, I haven't been those things since like... I sort of just drew from my childhood when I was younger and didn't know any better. Because, you know, he's really naive in a sense. He just loves Star Wars and he's super-smart. And he just loves to play around, so I just went back to when I was a kid playing Power Rangers and Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon."
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Marvel Studios' Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The cast features Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea), Michael Keaton (Batman, Birdman), Zendaya (K.C. Undercover), Donald Glover (The Martian, Community), Jacob Batalon (North Woods), Laura Harrier (One Life to Live), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Tyne Daly (Cagney and Lacey), Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo), with Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny, The Wrestler), and Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man, The Avengers). It also includes Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Kenneth Choi (The People vs. O.J. Simpson), Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Selenis Leyva (Orange is the New Black), Isabella Amara (The Boss), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Graceland), JJ Totah (Liv and Maddie), Hannibal Buress (30 Rock), and Jacob Batalon (North Woods).
The film is being directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car, Clown), based on a screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Vacation reboot) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.
The film is produced by Marvel boss Kevin Feige and former Sony boss Amy Pascal. Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Jeremy Latcham, and Stan Lee are serving as Executive Producers.
More Spider-Man: Homecoming news:
Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.