Spider-Man Star Zendaya Explains Why She Relates So Much To Peter Parker

Zendaya as MJ in Far From Home
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a doozy so far, as the studio is utilizing wild new concepts through new Marvel movies. Case in point: Spider-Man: No Way Home, which ripped open the multiverse and featured characters from the previous two franchises. And Spider-Man star Zendaya recently explained why she relates so much to the character of Peter Parker.

Zendaya made her debut as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and her role was greatly expanded in the two sequels. Audiences have really responded to her take on the character, who brings both heart and comedy to the property. But it turns out that Zendaya actually relates to Peter Parker, namely because of the fame she’s experienced since she was a child actor on Disney. In Spider-Man: No Way Home’s special features from the Blu- ray (via Comic Book), she explained this connection by saying:

I've always been a fan of Spider-Man, he's always been my favorite superhero. Because I think at the end of the day, he's just a kid who has to live this double life. In many ways I can relate to that, having started in the industry so early. It's really like ‘I'm just a kid, I'm just figuring it out as I go.’ But also having this other extraordinary, crazy, life simultaneously. So I've always connected to Peter Parker in that way – and I think everyone can.

She’s got a point. Zendaya has been a public figure since she was a very young actress, so she has a unique perspective on the double life that Peter Parker typically leads throughout the Spider-Man movies. And that double life definitely came to a head on the big screen during No Way Home, which showed the world finding out about Peter’s superhero identity.

While many people out there dream of becoming a famous actor, that type of notoriety definitely has its downsides– particularly when you’re a young person like Zendaya. Case in point: her relationship with co-star Tom Holland. Prior to finally confirming their coupling, there were countless rumors about the two actors. Paparazzi even took photos of them kissing shortly before they finally came out as a couple.

Zendaya has been thriving professionally, which should only increase both her starpower and the pressures of fame. Her leading role in HBO’s Euphoria earned her a primetime Emmy Award, and the show’s second season was a full-on sensation. She’s also appeared in notable film projects like Malcolm & Marie and Dune. As such, the juxtaposition between her fame and real-life will likely continue for the foreseeable future.

Of course, Spider-Man fans are wondering if/when Zendaya might reprise her role as MJ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Doctor Strange’s spell erase any memories of Peter Parker from the world. This includes both MJ and Ned, who couldn’t recognize Tom Holland’s character in their final scene. It’s unclear when another sequel might arrive, although Sony is reportedly developing a new trilogy of web slinging stories.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is available for home purchase now, and the next installment in the MCU is Doctor Strange 2 on May 6th. In the meantime check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.