Marisa Tomei Once Joked About Being Horrified to Play Spider-Man’s Aunt May Because of Her Age

As many know, Marvel’s Spider-Man films recruited Marisa Tomei to play the superhero’s Aunt May. Tomei admitted she didn’t know much about the character before taking on the role.

But she considered that a good thing since Aunt May’s age might have turned her off the role.

Marisa Tomei once shared she regretted taking on maternal roles like Spider-Man’s Aunt May

Marisa Tomei at the Venice International Film Festival.
Marisa Tomei | Rocco Spaziani/Getty Images

Tomei has expressed a lot of excitement about being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But admittedly, the actor doesn’t want to only be limited to maternal roles similar to Peter Parker’s Aunt May. It’s a path she’s even wished she didn’t go down to an extent.

“I really regret starting down this road and I really regret starting to do that. I was, you know, talked into it – not this, but I mean just that change – and I really always felt like, ‘Oh, I could play a lot of things.’ Honestly, it’s probably more of a stretch than other things. [Laughs] But, it’s – yeah, I guess I said it all,” Tomei once opened up to Collider.

For Tomei, she wanted to add variety to her selection by doing all kinds of different roles.

“I mean, even genres that I would love to be in, you know? The femme fatale, and in a noir. I still think there are other aspects of even romantic comedies. I really love them, but you know really at a screwball level. There’s so many, many – the breadth of as much as women are, there’s so many roles,” she added.

Marisa Tomei once joked she would’ve been horrified to play Aunt May because of the character’s age

Before Tomei got her hands on the part, Aunt May was mostly known for being played by much older actors. So much so a running gag in the Spider-Man movies was that Tomei’s physical appearance didn’t fit what most expected from the character.

When offered the role, Tomei admitted she knew very little about the wholesome widow. This worked to the actor’s benefit, who wouldn’t have taken Aunt May’s original age and appearance very well.

“It’s lucky I didn’t know much about Aunt May, because I might have been horrified if I’d seen the original image of a grey-haired pensioner,” Tomei once said in an interview with The Guardian. “Don’t toy with my heart, Marvel. Is that really how you view me?”

At one point, the Oscar-winner even offered to make herself look a little older for the sake of the character. But she was reassured such changes weren’t necessary.

“You can imagine my horror when I was cast and I started doing the research, but then I thought ‘well, I’m going to go with it.’ And I actually made a case to go, to age me up, but no they didn’t do it,” she said in an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Marvel vetoed Marisa Tomei’s relationship idea for Aunt May

In an attempt to add some dimension to her character, Tomei suggested Aunt May being in a relationship with a woman. She pitched that the relationship would only be hinted at for a quick second, and even had a love interest in mind.

“And we were kind of talking about it. And so I actually really wanted Amy Pascal from Sony to be my girlfriend,” she once said in an interview with Geeks of Color.

But it was an idea that received very little support.

“No one went for it at the time,” she said.

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