“*Spider-Man: Homecoming” has grossed over $641 million worldwide since its release last month, making it the seventh highest grossing film of 2017.
The film has received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising Tom Holland as the titular character, as well as the diverse cast that includes Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Laura Harrier, and Garcelle Beauvais.
Beauvais, best known for her long-standing role as Francesca “Fancy” Monroe on The WB television sitcom, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” plays the mother of the super smart and determined Liz Allen (Harrier). The film centers on a young Peter Parker, who made his sensational debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” as he begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero.
EUR/Electronic Urban Report caught up with Garcelle to dish about the secrecy and the excitement that comes with joining the Marvel universe. She plays Michael Keaton’s wife in the film so she also explains why NOW is the perfect time to diversify this beloved franchise.
“It was great to see that Marvel wanted a diverse family. I think it’s what the world looks like and if you did it any other way it wouldn’t be a true representation of what’s going on,” she said. “If you go to any high school, you would see all kinds of kids and I think that’s why it also appeals to everyone.”
Check out the rest of our conversation with Garcelle below.
Talk about the secrecy that comes with landing a role in a Marvel film. Who was the first person you told you were cast in this, your kids?
Garcelle: Well, first of all… this is amazing. I did not audition for it. I was at home with my kids and I got the call from my manager saying, “I got an offer for you for a movie.” And I go, “Great, what is it?” And he goes, “I can’t tell you anything about it.” And I say, “Okaay. What’s the character?” And he goes, “Well, I can’t tell you anything about it.” And I said, “Are you crazy?” And so he goes, “I can’t say anything about it because they won’t tell me.” And I said, “Well, what’s the name of the movie?” And he said, “Spider-Man.” And I said, “Stop talking to me right now, call them back and say YES to whatever it is.”
So I get off the phone and I tell my kids, we start jumping up and down and screaming and then they’re like, “Well, who are you going to play?” And I was like, “I don’t know.” And they look at me crazy. Even when I was flying to Atlanta, I said to my manager, “How do I prepare?” And he said to me, “Just trust the process. This is the way Marvel works.” And I said, “Alright!” And I did, and that was really incredible.
For our readers who have not seen this movie yet, how would you describe your character?
Garcelle: I would describe my character as a loving wife and mother, who obviously wants the best for my kid. My kid’s in high school, so of course, there’s a lot that goes on with teenagers. So being aware of her life – knowing that she’s getting ready to go to a Homecoming dance and curious to see who she brings home for that. And then also being surprised by the developments by what happens to my family because of the man that I’m married to.
What was your first impression of Tom Holland?
Garcelle: I met him the first day, ’cause we were shooting a scene at the high school and, let me tell you, this kid is so dynamic and so nice. And we kept on saying, “We hope he doesn’t change after this movie.” He was so nice to everybody. And the first day that I was working, I was missing the first day of school for my kids, which, I’m a hands on mom. I love to be there for everything. So Tom was like, “I’ll make a video for your boys.” And I was like, “What?” So he actually made a video for my kids for me to send back to L.A., and I thought, “This kid is incredible.” The fact that he wanted to do a video for my boys just said everything. I just loved his energy and his spirit.
I imagine working with the legendary Michael Keaton had to feel quite, magical.
Garcelle: Michael Keaton, who I have been a fan of forever, and he’s my favorite Batman. I keep saying that I was in a scene with Batman and Spider-Man. I was like, “This is great!”
And Laura Harrier, being that she’s a fresh-faced newcomer and this is her breakout performance, did you impart any advice to her?
Garcelle: I’ve know this make-up artist for a very long time. Her name is Heba and she was the head make-up artist on the movie. So, of course, they started shooting the movie before it was time for me to work and she texted me when she found out that I was cast and she goes, “Garcelle, if you were to have a daughter, Laura would be it.”
So my friend knowing me, and meeting Laura, for her to say that without us meeting meant a lot. So when I got to Atlanta and started hanging out with Laura, I felt like she could be my daughter ‘cause we had a lot in common. She’s got a great demeanor about her. It was instant chemistry between the two of us. And I kept on saying to her, “Are you ready for what’s going to happen?” She comes from a really good family. I got to meet her mom and her grandmother and I think she’s really grounded and I think she’s got a good head on her shoulders. After the movie, she went and traveled a lot. I think she’s going to be great.
Can you share a funny or a memorable moment from filming?
Garcelle: We did a scene that didn’t end up in the movie, maybe it’ll be in the director’s cut, but we did a scene where we went into a penitentiary because, at the end of the scene, they said, “Your family is here.” Well, my daughter and I…. we actually shot the scene and we were in this real penitentiary in Atlanta. And let me tell you, I was scared to death. Just going through security — they have to make sure that the same people going in are the same people going out. And they had a bunch of extras that were dressed like the real prisoners and at one point they all came walking by us. I literally grabbed on to Laura, ‘cause I was like, “Oh, my god, what’s happening?” But then, of course, we found out that they were extras. But it was pretty daunting.
You have graced our television and film screens for over three decades now. What do you attribute to your stellar career and longevity?
Garcelle: I’m open to a lot of things and I think that’s what been able to help me. I don’t try to pigeonhole myself in a box. I remember right after doing ‘The Jamie Foxx Show,’ people probably expected me to do another sitcom and I went from that to ‘NYPD Blue,’ which was the complete opposite. On ‘The Jamie Foxx Show’ we got to improv. When the audience came, it took Jamie to another level. So you never knew if he was going to stick to the script or not. And then going to ‘NYPD Blue,’ where you couldn’t even change “the” to “a” — they were really script-strict on that. So I think what’s helped me is that I’ve been open to a lot of different things and I persevere. At the end of it all, I just keep going. I love what I do and I don’t see me stopping anytime soon. I feel like the opportunities are still here for me, which is great. And I also think women, and women of a certain age now, there’s no stigma to it — that it’s changed the industry a lot.
Lastly, what else is coming up for you? Any other projects you’re working on?
Garcelle: I started a production company called Beauvais Wilson Productions and we are in pre-production on a couple of things and I’m going out there pitching. So it’s really an exciting time to be, sorta, behind the camera.