SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME Exclusive Interview With Jacob Batalon About Making The Billion-Dollar Blockbuster

As Spider-Man: Far From Home makes its 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD debut today, we were recently granted an exclusive opportunity to sit down with star Jacob Batalon to talk about making the blockbuster.

Following an absolutely spectacular box office run, Sony Pictures' and Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: Far From Home makes its long-awaited debut on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD today, and ahead of the release, we were granted an exclusive opportunity to sit down with actor Jacob Batalon (Ned Leeds) to talk about his role in the billion-dollar blockbuster.

We discuss a wide variety of topics from returning for the sequel, getting to work on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, the cast chemistry, his brotherhood with Tom Holland, his decision to pursue acting, the film's epic ending and more!
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ROHAN: Spider-Man: Homecoming was your first big film, and I’m assuming that was a pretty nerve-wracking experience. But when you came back for Far From Home, you’d been through Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

What was your approach to returning for the sequel after getting all those reps?

JACOB: I think I was a lot more relaxed this time around. I was very uncertain with my career path and myself when we were making Homecoming, but, you know, that process turned out not to be a success, so, I just accepted that everything that we were doing was right and that we basically knew what our fans wanted and then, we were able to make another great film because we just all know each other so well and we sort of know each other’s flow now.

ROHAN: What was your experience working on Infinity War and Endgame? Moving on from this slightly scaled down origin story to this gigantic production with thirty, forty heroes.

JACOB: Yeah, I feel like, as an ancillary character, we don’t get to see the crazy sort of things, with the crazy sequences and stages and stuff like that. We just sort of film what we have to film and then leave. But, that experience, for me, was still a huge learning experience - I learned a lot from working with the Russo Brothers and by operating on someone else's set and just working with different people. It was a really fun experience for both films, but otherwise, yeah, it's just like a normal work day.

ROHAN: The cast has some really great chemistry. Do you remember your first time meeting everyone? Did you all just instantly hit it off or was that something you had to build toward?

JACOB: No, we definitely hit it off right away. I think from Homecoming we all sort of had a very similar experience - not in terms of the careers we’d had up until that point - but really, just as people. We're all at the same age and we're all sort of going through the same thing, found the same things funny. We all really just love each other, so, it was really easy to bond and because of that, we’re able to make really good films.

ROHAN: Yeah, the cast of this movie is so great because it really feels like a real high school, like when I was in high school ten years ago. It has a really authentic feel for the most part.

JACOB: Yeah, definitely.

ROHAN: Your relationship with Tom also seems pretty special and I think many would agree that it really reflects well on-screen. You guys have such great chemistry and the Peter/Ned dynamic is basically the heart of Homecoming.

JACOB: Thank you so much.

ROHAN: I’m assuming you guys are really good friends in real-life. Could you maybe just speak on developing that bond?

JACOB: Yeah, definitely, yeah, we're really, really close. I think we've gone through so much together and seeing each other on our not-so-best days and seeing each other on really great days, we really, really bonded. We got that brotherly sort - he is my brother really. I feel like I wouldn't be the same kind of person without him in my life. The whole cast has really had a great impact on me.

ROHAN: And, you guys get to grow up together, I feel that would be kind of comforting.

JACOB: Yeah, it was good. We were roommates when we made Homecoming and, you know, seeing us now - we were so different back then.

ROHAN: You’ve been in four MCU films now and have been quite the scene-stealer in at least three of them. The porn line in Homecoming killed, and then you had the whole Night Monkey thing in Far From Home, which has taken a life of its own. In Infinity War, you also had a fairly memorable moment before all hell broke loose.

You and Tom have built such a great rapport and I think fans have really responded to your on-screen dynamic. How has that fan appreciation been for you?

JACOB: I think it really speaks to how hard we work. I think we do our best to, again, just give the fans what they want and what they like about our films. I feel like we work so hard to make sure that it's good and I’m so glad that we get this sort of validation that the fans enjoy what we do.

ROHAN: You guys went all across Europe in this one and visited some really beautiful locations. Was there any sequence or experience during filming that you found most memorable?

JACOB: I think just spending all the time together in London was pretty great. We were there for about two months and we were able to just bond so much more and just hanging out together, exploring that city in itself was really just an amazing time. I think Prague and Venice went by so fast, it was really just a blur. It was all just really, really fun and inventive stuff.

ROHAN: I remember the Venice schedule and you guys sharing a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff. Looked like a blast.

JACOB: Yeah, it was a really good time.

ROHAN: I also wanted to ask about the film’s ending - I’m assuming you were a big fan of the original Raimi Spider-Man movies with Tobey Maguire, so what was it like for you when you learned that J.K. Simmons was back as J. Jonah Jameson?

JACOB: I mean, that was probably one of the greatest surprises to ever happened to me. I mean from liking the Tobey Maguire movies to actually being in a Spider-Man movie was a very satisfying thing for me, but just to see J.K. Simmons, just like meet him as a person was really just one of those personal goals of mine and it was great. It was so awesome. To see how surprised and excited everyone was about him being in the film and just meeting him was so awesome. He's so cool.

ROHAN: Did you get the experience to see that post-credits scene with an audience? Because people go absolutely crazy when he shows up.

JACOB: Yeah, oh, yeah. I feel like the first time we saw it with an audience was at the premiere and everyone was pretty taken aback. Yeah, it was awesome.

ROHAN: Yeah, it came completely out of left field. There weren’t any rumors about it or anyhting. Great movie moment.

JACOB: It was good. Yeah, he got into a Marvel office somewhere and just filmed it last second.

ROHAN: You grew up in Hawaii and are of Filipino descent, right?

JACOB: Yeah.

ROHAN: So, how was your experience when deciding to pursue acting as a full-time career? I mean it’s a pretty big decision you had to make as a kid basically, and I know, as an Indian-American myself, it’s not necessarily a field that has traditionally been easy to crack, especially for Asian-Americans like ourselves. What was your experience when you made the call to move forward with your career?

JACOB: I think, for the most part, it was just really dealing with that leap of faith that you should take in your life, whether it's like your job or in your personal life, but it did take a lot of support. I feel like I had gone through so much doubt and so much negativity in my life that it was hard for me to be positive about the outlook and outcome of certain things, but I actually liked moving out to New York and becoming an actor and then, going to drama school was really just the result of me not wanting to be stuck in this sort of space where I didn't really get to explore the world or do things that I wanted or just feel fulfilled. I just feel like this job happening to me in the current landscape, it was really just because I was really fortunate person and that really, it could’ve happened to anyone and I'm still shocked that I'm having the privilege to do things like this.

ROHAN: Yeah man, trust me, seeing you on screen makes all of us happy.

JACOB: Thank you, I appreciate that.

ROHAN: You do need an Indian in one of these movies, so if you need a guy, you know where to find me.

JACOB: *laughs* Yeah, it’s tough out here, man. I'm so happy that we’re able to broaden the landscape and just having more people of color in film. I think the industry is still, like this school, a tough place to break into, but I think we're being afforded more opportunities now. So, it’ll happen, I feel it.

ROHAN: Your role as Ned Leeds leans heavily toward comedy. I mean he’s not necessarily comic relief or anything because he does have an important role in Peter’s life as well, but you’re a very, very gifted comedic actor. Is comedy something that comes naturally to you or is developing that rhythm something you’ve worked pretty hard at?

JACOB: I feel like I've always tried to be funny, like in the school. In high school, for the first year, my school was an all-boys school, so it was tricky because every guy wants to be funny, but it’s also hard to be funny with a bunch of other funny people. So, then, in drama school, I was really allowed to just play around a lot and really just improvise and stuff. It was great, it’s just a really fun thing to do.
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Also, in case you missed them, check out the rest of our interview with Jacob Batalon at the links below:
Marvel and Sony's Spider-Man: Far From Home is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD - click either cover below to order a copy for yourself today!

 

To check out photos from SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, simply click on the VIEW LIST (ONE PAGE) button below!






 
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.


 
Spider-Man: Far From Home features:
Director: Jon Watts
Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury
Zendaya as Michelle "MJ" Jones
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill
Jon Favreau as Harold "Happy" Hogan
J.B. Smoove as Mr. Dell
Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds
Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington
Marisa Tomei as May Parker
Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/Mysterio
Tony Revolori as Eugene "Flash" Thompson
Angourie Rice as Betty Brant
Hemky Madera as Mr. Delmar
Numan Acar as Dimitri
Remy Hii as Brad Davis
Oli Hill in an undisclosed role
Zach Barack in an undisclosed role


Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters July 2
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