Zendaya says her 'Spider-Man' character was about 'embracing the weird'

By Karen Butler  |  June 27, 2017 at 12:00 PM
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June 27 (UPI) -- Actress and singer Zendaya says her portrayal of moody, high school nerd Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming was partly inspired by Ally Sheedy's anti-social Allison from the 1985 teen dramedy The Breakfast Club.

"Definitely inspiration there," Zendaya said at a New York press conference Sunday when asked about the apparent connection between the two screen teens.

"I didn't really know what kind of character I was playing until I showed up because everything's kind of top secret, you know what I'm saying?" Zendaya, 20, said. "So, I read the script and I went: 'OK, she's interesting. Alright. This is going to be fun.' And then I met with [director] Jon [Watts] and he had so many different references and [The Breakfast Club] was definitely one of them. Just kind of making a distinct character, making somebody that I think is different and embracing the weird. ... It's OK to be weird. That is OK and it is OK to be exactly who you are and if you make things awkward and uncomfortable, as long as you cool, that is the most important thing. I love that she is outspoken. I love that she says what everybody is thinking, but she just doesn't care. I think that a lot of young people should have that a little bit more. So, it was fun playing that dry kind of version of myself, really."

Co-starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr. and Marisa Tomei, Spider-Man: Homecoming is due in theaters on July 7.

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