The Unexpected Way Spider-Man Vet Alfred Molina Affected Co-Star Fivel Stewart's Performance In Apple TV+'s Roar

Over the years, the incomparable Alfred Molina has become best known for playing Doctor Octopus, a role he recently revisited in Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside previous Spidey movie actors like Willem Dafoe, Jamie Foxx, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. He may have a bad guy image in the movies, but Roar’s Fivel Stewart certainly wasn’t as intimidated with the actor as she hoped. 

Fivel Stewart and Alfred Molina worked opposite each other in the Roar episode “The Girl Who Loved Horses.” The episode of the anthology series is a mini-Western where Molina’s character plays the estranged father to Stewart’s character, on whom she wants to exact revenge. However, the actress’ experience was less menacing on set. In her words:  

He’s so nice and so funny and so full of life that I just wasn't prepared to force myself as much as I did to get mad at him. I just remember sitting there in front of him and not wanting to laugh and not wanting to speak. And he is like joking left and right. And I was like, ‘Dang it, be meaner’. I mean, I grew up watching him in Spider-Man. So I was like, well, one: I'm like in front of this man right now. And then two: he's just so nice, like please, but it was awesome.

When CinemaBlend spoke to Fivel Stewart about her Roar episode, she talked about the “empowering” experience fronting a Western narrative fronted by a female character in a genre that is often male-dominated. The actress also couldn’t help but gush about her scene partner Alfred Molina, with whom she shared a showdown scene with in the episode. In the context of the scene, she’s supposed to be very mad and uninterested in him, which proved difficult because Molina is so charismatic in real life. 

Fivel Stewart is a Spider-Man fan herself, who grew up watching Alfred Molina fight off Tobey Maguire’s friendly neighborhood superhero in the landmark Sam Raimi film Spider-Man 2. Even in the role of Doctor Octopus, the character has a somewhat of a sympathetic storyline given he was a scientist who had an experiment get the best of him. And in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doc Ock doesn’t end up being the big bad either

Stewart sounds like she had a great experience working with the legend on Roar, even though she has to be stone-cold toward him in the Apple TV+ series. Fivel Stewart and Alfred Molina lead the final episode of the new series, which also includes episodes starring the likes of Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Issa Rae, Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie

Roar is based on a book of short stories of the same name by P.S. I Love You author Cecelia Ahern. The series was made by the same creators behind Netflix’s GLOW, with Nicole Kidman also producing the project, as well as starring in an episode called “The Woman Who Ate Photographs.” You can check out Roar with an Apple TV+ subscription

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.