Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse newcomers Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya reveal how it feels to join the Spider-Verse.
Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya join the Spider-Verse as Spider-Woman and Spider-Punk, respectively, in Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse. In this interview the two discuss what it means to them to be part of this film, as well as how they reacted when they first saw the design of their characters.
Issa Rae & Daniel Kaluuya Talk Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse
What does it mean to you to join the Spider-Verse?
Daniel Kaluuya: I was just so excited to be a part of this. I love the first one so much. I’ve watched it so many times. I watch it every Christmas with my niece. I’ve got to thank the guys – Kemp, Chris, and Phil, for giving me the freedom to bring the real essence of London. I find the character funny. The lines are great. They let me enjoy it. It was great.
Issa Rae: This was a childhood dream come true that I didn’t know that I had. To play Spider-Woman, and to get that call, that just made my entire year. People around me know how much Spider-Man means to me, so it was incredible. I had such a blast working with the filmmakers to bring her alive.
What was your reaction to seeing your character design the first time?
Daniel Kaluuya: I thought it was so cool. I was like wow, because you go back to when you started. Even thinking about acting and you dream of something like this. I felt like a kid. Like when I just started out. When I was 14. Seeing films. I wished I could be in something like this and to be in this movie where the characters are you. And you can build the world around them. It was quite an overwhelming feeling and I felt very grateful.
Issa Rae: I was absolutely excited. Her goggles are so dope. I want a pair of my own. I also thought it was really unique that she doesn’t have a mask. She is just Spider-Woman, just Jess Drew. They’re interchangeable to her and she’s just out here raw dogging in the world with her face and saving lives.
As for her being pregnant, it was a little intimidating, I’m not gonna lie. I haven’t gone through that experience yet so to portray someone going through it, and also kicking people’s asses, was like, whoa. It was jarring to know that this was the version of Spider-Woman that they had chosen. The more I read about her, the more I was able to become her. She’s so sacrificial in a way. She is the true essence of a superhero. The fact that she is a mom, fighting crime, and also, she’s super human. I love playing her and I hope other moms appreciate her too.
I have to say she challenged my notion of pregnancy. My sister and friends who’ve been pregnant, I realized sometimes I’m a bit too fragile with them. All the women who do the extraordinary while they’re pregnant are taken for granted in that way.
Be sure to watch the full interview with Issa Rae and Daniel Kaluuya to get more Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse behind the scenes information and tidbits. The movie swings into theaters on June 2nd, so don’t miss it!
About Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Miles Morales returns for the next chapter of the Oscar®-winning Spider-Verse saga, Spider-Man™: Across the Spider-Verse. After reuniting with Gwen Stacy, Brooklyn’s full-time, friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is catapulted across the Multiverse, where he encounters the Spider Society, a team of Spider-People charged with protecting the Multiverse’s very existence.
But when the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles finds himself pitted against the other Spiders and must set out on his own to save those he loves most. Anyone can wear the mask – it’s how you wear it that makes you a hero.
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Critics Choice Association, Hollywood Critics Association, and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.