Nearly three years ago, Spider-Man: Homecoming debuted in theaters, bringing a wildly different new take on Marvel's web-slinger along with it. The film followed a lot of Peter Parker/Spider-Man's (Tom Holland) time as a high school student, complete with a roster of classmates in the process. Among those was Liz Toomes (Laura Harrier), Peter's love interest and the daughter of Adrian Toomes/The Vulture (Michael Keaton). While Homecoming helped introduce Harrier, who has since gone on to star in Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman and Ryan Murphy's Hollywood, to a slew of Marvel fans, it sounds like she almost thought she'd lost out on the role. The actress recently told Net-a-Porter that she briefly worried she hadn't gotten the role of Liz, after it had come out that Zendaya, who ultimately ended up playing M.J., was first cast in the film.
“After I did my screen test for Spider-Man, before I had heard anything, it came out a few weeks later that Zendaya was going to be cast in it, so I just figured I hadn’t got the job. She must have,” Harrier explained. “I called my agent and they reassured me I was still in the running."
"I thought it was incredible and ground-breaking of Marvel to put us both in those roles and not to make it about our blackness," Harrier continued. "We were just girls who went to a school in New York and that’s what New York City looks like; films should reflect that. We had the best time making that movie. Zendaya and I are friends now and I’m really grateful for her. Swinging around on those wires was fun!”
Harrier has spoken about Homecoming's push for diversity in the past, previously telling ComicBook.com that she hopes it is representative of the future for onscreen representation.
"I think it's huge that this movie looks the way that it does," Harrier told us in 2017. "I think [producer] Amy Pascal said it in the press conference. This is just reality. If you go to a high school in Queens, it looks like us and it feels almost like it shouldn't be groundbreaking but it is. Hopefully, this is indicative of the future. I hope we see a lot more movies like this. Yeah, I don't think things are where they should be, but I think this means we're moving in the right direction."