Actress Jona Xiao, who’s landed a role in next summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming film alongside the likes of Zendaya, Tom Holland, and Michael Keaton, sat down in an exclusive interview with website TalkNerdyWithUs to discuss her role in Spidey’s solo film MCU debut.
Although having been confirmed as a part of the cast, Xiao wasn’t able to reveal much, if anything, due to Marvel’s stringent secrecy policy.
“I can’t reveal anything about my character. But I will say – you mentioned you were a fan – so for fans of Spider-Man and the comics, because Marvel is going to be the one helping produce this time around, it’s very much true to canon in terms of the depiction of Spider-Man, and it’s his coming-of-age story when he’s a teenager. So when he’s coming into his powers and how he’s dealing with the typical things a teenager deals with in high school, but also having these superpowers,” Xiao said when asked if she could reveal anything about her character. “So, I think fans will see some things they expect to see, especially if they saw ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man, which I think is excellent. And then also some twists and turns and surprises that the studios are throwing into the mix.”
Xiao said she had a blast working on her first superhero movie and hope it isn’t her last.
“Right when I booked it, I wanted to tell my closest friends and family, but I couldn’t. (laughs). Then when it was announced that I joined the cast, I was like okay great, well at least I can share that, that I’m part of the cast. But it’s been interesting! I was drinking with some friends the other night. I didn’t get drunk, but I was a little tipsy. And my friend tried real hard. (laughs). He was like, “Alright I’m gonna say a characters name, and I want you to shake your head or nod, okay?” (laughs). And I was like, ‘Okay, yes I might have been drinking, but no, I am not so drunk that I would participate in this game of yours.’ But good try, good try.”
“But it’s been really great. This is the first superhero movie I’ve been a part of, and I hope it’s not my last. I’ve always loved the superhero genre, ever since I was like seven years old. I wished for superpowers every birthday, and so it’s exciting to be part of a film where superheroes and powers are just a norm, which is really exciting and fun.”
Although she’s acting in her first superhero movie, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Xiao said many of her favorite comic characters growing up were DC-based characters such as Superman, Catwoman, and Wonder Woman. The last character there might be a little coincidence as Xiao just filmed Keeping Up with the Jonses with actress Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe.
“Let’s see. I really liked Superman. And then Wonder Woman was great as well. Catwoman…so many really. I also grew up watching Xena and Hercules (laughs) and all those types of action-oriented projects as well,” Xiao reflected when asked about her favorite comic book characters.
“I remember, I used to have road rage. But I don’t anymore; I just had a little bit. And when I’d be driving, especially around Los Angeles, I would imagine I had Xena’s chakram and that when someone pissed me off while I was driving, I imagined myself throwing the chakram and hitting their car, or taking the mirror off their car or something and then getting the chakram back. (laughs). I would literally imagine that, and it would calm me down.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming starring Xiao, Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton is slated to be released on July 7, 2017.