Why Zendaya Was Worried About Being So Much Taller Than Tom Holland in ‘Spider-Man’

The trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home has released just as Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are still reeling from Avengers: Endgame — and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for Spider-Man next. Far From Home shows the beloved hero traveling around Europe with his friends, though of course, everything’s bound to be disrupted. From saving the world to pursuing normal life as a teen, Spider-Man’s world is about to change. And we can’t wait to see what the other famous characters will do as well.

Zendaya, who plays Michelle Jones, one of Peter Parker’s classmates, has become a fan favorite, and viewers love that Zendaya and Tom Holland are best friends in real life, too. The actress was once worried she wouldn’t get the part, though — and it was all because of her height.

Zendaya plays a character reminiscent of Mary Jane Watson

Zendaya may play Michelle Jones, a totally new high school student to the Spider-Man universe, but the similarities between her character and the iconic Mary Jane Watson aren’t lost on anyone. Not only do they have the same initials, but there are also a few clues that Michelle and Peter Parker could be headed for romance. Screen Rant reminds us that Michelle was seen mocking Peter throughout Homecoming, but in the Far From Home trailer, Peter comments on the possibility of M.J. really liking him.

Fans are loving Zendaya’s rendition of Mary Jane Watson, too. While one Reddit user notes she may not be “comic accurate” because she’s not the redheaded bombshell we’ve seen in the past, the user wrote they think she’s “potentially more faithful than any other version of Mary Jane in media form outside of Spectacular Spider-Man.” Even though Zendaya’s character is just a fun homage to the original Mary Jane, it’s great to see so many fans get invested in her and Peter’s storyline.

She was worried she wouldn’t get the part because of her height

Zendaya and Tom Holland
Zendaya and Tom Holland | Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

We’ve seen Zendaya and Tom Holland stand next to each other in the movie, at awards shows, and around town when they’re hanging out as friends, and it’s clear she has around two inches of height over him. This doesn’t matter in terms of their characters, of course — but Zendaya did note that she thought their height difference would cause her to not get cast for Homecoming.

She told Variety that when she went to the audition and had a chemistry read with Tom Holland, it dawned on her that her height may be a problem. “I was worried because he’s so much shorter than me. I was like, ‘Damn it! It’s going to be weird because I’m super tall.'” Lucky for her, they “ended up doing the audition sitting. So that was good.” And her chemistry with Tom Holland clearly won out over everyone else, as even today there are consistent rumors that the two are dating

Zendaya also said she worried the part wasn’t written for a woman of color

Tom Holland and Zendaya on the set of "Spiderman: Far From Home"
Tom Holland and Zendaya on the set of Spiderman: Far From Home | Bobby Bank/GC Images

Not only did she think her height may hold her back, but Zendaya wasn’t completely convinced that the producers of Spider-Man were going to want a woman of color for the part of Michelle Jones. She told Marie Claire that she was ready to push for the part if need be, as she expected them to just go for “with the standard of what they want and what they’ve always had. I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’ — as they call it in the industry— ‘go ethnic.’ I remember making the decision to straighten my hair.”

Casting greatly surprised her, however, as they were looking to diversify their cast. “I didn’t know that they were going to be more diverse in their casting. I didn’t know that I was walking into a situation where they were already breaking the rules. You get so used to having to break the rules for people,” Zendaya told Marie Claire.

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