Among the many odd societal norms that have existed for as long as we can remember is the idea of height difference between a couple. There’s a belief often perpetuated that the guy in the relationship needs to be taller than the girl. This becomes unfair for taller than average women or shorter than average men, which applies to the stars of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland and Zendaya. And the latter has now revealed the initial height-related concerns she had while auditioning for 2017's Homecoming.
When it comes to the odd norm, movies play a part, too. How often do you see a romantic comedy where the woman in the relationship is looking down at the leading man? Never. So it would make sense that Zendaya was concerned about getting the role of MJ alongside Tom Holland (who is 5’8"). As the actress shared to Entertainment Weekly:
While talking about her first meeting with her co-star, she admits to being “worried” that she would lose the role due to her height. But thankfully, the Marvel casting directors saw through it. The decision has allowed for the actors to explore a height dynamic we don’t typically see on the big screen, and it’s super refreshing.
After Zendaya shared that she thinks their height difference is one of the best things about the on-screen couple, Tom Holland added, “I absolutely love it.” This isn’t the first time the actors have spoken to this and throughout their press tour for No Way Home. The topic has come up multiple times, especially now that they're dating in real life.
During an interview with Sirius XM, the conversation came up, leading Tom Holland to share that it may have been an intentional decision by director Jon Watts to begin with. In his words:
Their co-star, Jacob Batalon, also chimed in the discussion, sharing that it’s “not weird for women to be tall.” This brings up a great discussion about how this norm sees taller than average women. It perpetuates that a tall man is more valuable than a short man because height makes someone more of a man, whereas women are devalued for being tall because women are inherently supposed to be shorter than men? This is a great time for us to reevaluate this! And at the end of the day, Tom Holland and Zendaya’s Peter and MJ are super cute, and many fans wouldn’t want it any other way.
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