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No matter who is playing Spider-Man, and what studio is behind the current adaptation of the mighty Marvel hero, Aunt May always will be designed as a supportive side character – a voice of compassion and reason who’s there to help troubled teen hero Peter Parker figure the right move in a difficult situation. Apparently no one told Sally Field that she’d have a reduced and supportive role in the Amazing Spider-Man movies, however, because when she opened up to talk show guru Howard Stern, she kind of threw her character – and the failed franchise – under the bus.
Sally Field, as you may or may not remember, played Peter Parker’s precious Aunt May in two Amazing Spider-Man movies, tending to the needs (and the laundry) of Andrew Garfield’s Spidey. It was a thankless role each time out, to say the least, and Field knows it. On The Howard Stern Show, Sally Field admitted that she only took the part in the massive franchise as a favor to producing partner Laura Ziskin, who died in 2011, and she was frustrated by the one-dimensionality of the part (and the series). Said Field, in a delicious NSFW diss:
It's really hard to find a three dimensional character in it, and you work it as much as you can, but you can't put ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag."
As fiery as that statement reads on the page, Sally Field really was speaking matter-of-factly when she discussed the difficulty of preparing to play the part. She admitted to Howard Stern that she didn’t put "a great deal" of thought or preparation into the role, and agreed with Stern that the character basically existed to prop up Spider-Man, from time to time. If you recall, Field’s lines in the sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, involved doing Peter’s laundry, and then holding down a side job as a nurse… which was completely ignored until we saw Aunt May in a hospital during a power outage. Man, that movie can be a bit of a mess.
Here, listen to Sally Field, in context, and hear the disappointment in her voice when trying to explain why she was part of a franchise that flamed out, leading to a reboot in the character’s timeline, sending him back to Marvel in a partnership with Sony:
And now that we have a new Spider-Man, we have a new Aunt May. According to reports, Marisa Tomei will play Aunt May to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker. We may see her in Captain America: Civil War. We’ll definitely see her in the solo Spider-Man movie, due in theaters in 2017. I wonder if Sally Field will see it?