Zendaya Had No Idea She Was Auditioning to Play MJ in ‘Spider-Man’

The official poster for Spider-Man: No Way Home has just dropped and fans’ excitement can’t be contained. Already, lovers of the franchise are analyzing the poster for clues about the upcoming film’s plot. The movie, which drops exclusively in theaters on December 17, is the third and final installment in the trilogy. And if Tom Holland and Zendaya are to be believed, the film is well worth the wait.

Spider-Man: Far From Home star Zendaya
Zendaya | Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Fans will recall that Holland and Zendaya portray Peter Parker and MJ in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The pair have truly enjoyed their time shooting the blockbuster films. However, shooting highly-anticipated movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was a learning experience for both actors. In an interview with Variety, Zendaya got candid about what it was like to film something as high-profile as Spider-Man.

Zendaya on what it’s like to film the ‘Spider-Man’ movies

“It’s such a huge thing,” Zendaya shared. “And there’s so many secrets, and half of the script you can’t even read because there’s too many spoilers for, at the time, Endgame and all these other things. It’s like, you don’t really know what you’re doing. It’s just so big that you’re like, ‘I’m just going to figure it out as I go.'”

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Despite the steep learning curve, Zendaya feels extremely grateful about being given the opportunity to portray MJ. Funnily enough, the Euphoria star didn’t even realize that she was vying for the coveted role when she first auditioned for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Instead, the famous actor believed that she was going out for a much smaller role.

The ‘Euphoria’ actor didn’t find out she was going out for MJ until her final audition

“We weren’t supposed to know that the script pages that we were reading were for Spider-Man,” Zendaya shared in an interview with GQ. “But I did find out it was for Spider-Man cause I have good agents. But I didn’t know what role I was auditioning for. I just thought it was ‘girl in Spider-Man movie.’ I didn’t really know what character or what kind of character they would be.”

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It wasn’t until Zendaya’s final audition that she was informed that she was potentially reading to play MJ. “Right before the screen test, they were kinda saying ‘Ok these are the characters that we’re reading for’, MJ being one of them,” the Spider-Man: No Way Home actor shared. “And I was like, ‘Oh that would be so cool.'”

Why didn’t Zendaya know she was auditioning for MJ?

But why didn’t Zendaya have an inkling that she might be auditioning for MJ prior to her screen test? The secrecy surrounding MCU projects certainly contributed to the actor being kept in the dark. However, the Emmy award winner also didn’t know that the casting office was willing to break conventions and utilize more diverse casting. Considering Peter Parker’s romantic interest had historically been a White woman, Zendaya didn’t know if they’d be willing to shirk tradition.

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“I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’—as they call it in the industry—’go ethnic,’” Zendaya shared with Marie Claire. “I remember making the decision to straighten my hair. 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.”

Fans can’t wait to see Zendaya in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

Zendaya may not have known that she was auditioning for MJ until the final hour, but she was clearly the right choice for the role. We’re sure fans can’t wait to see what she brings to the character in Spider-Man: No Way Home.