Hawaii actor talks about landing role in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’


A Hawaii boy is getting his big Hollywood break.

Damien Memorial School graduate Jacob Batalon stars in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which opens in theaters on Friday, July 7.

“It’s just about Peter dealing with being a superhero and going through puberty,” Batalon said with a chuckle. “He still has to worry about homework. He still has to worry about his crush liking him while trying to save someone who’s probably in a burning building.”

His character is Ned Leeds, Peter Parker’s best friend.

“I have to thank my manager for that really, for helping me, for finding the audition for me, really. It was all left up to God at that point,” he said.

Batalon joined Wake Up 2day to talk about the movie and how he feels about acting alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

“It’s really humbling and also a lot, I wouldn’t say pressure, but I had to make sure I was on my game a lot,” he said. “I’ve been watching them act, people who were really professional and seasoned, it was interesting to see like their takes on things. I learned a lot just by listening to them talk.”

During an early public appearance for the movie, “I was on stage and I was so emotional. I was crying,” he said. “The fans were just so wild. They were screaming our names, and taking our pictures. It was just the most surreal feeling ever.”

What’s next for the actor? A role in an upcoming film called “The True Don Quixote,” and of course, a “Spider-Man” sequel.

His advice for others: “Belief in yourself is the most important thing. You shouldn’t let people define who you are. That innermost strength comes from the same place as fear. You decide whether or not you want to do this thing. Just believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, it’s only you that will trust you, and you that will believe in yourself.”

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell declared July 7, 2017 to be Jacob Batalon Day in the City and County of Honolulu in recognition of “his enormous success so early in his movie career, his unwavering commitment to the young people of these islands who look to him for inspiration, and for bringing excitement and pride to the entire state of Hawaii.”

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