BY STEVE FISHER
WHEN JACOB BATALON was growing up
in Hawaii, his direction in life was to
become a musician. But an adventure in
;lm school in New York City would change
that direction profoundly. Having been
lured to the dark side of ;lmmaking—as an
actor—Batalon was informed by his manager of a mysterious casting call. Not knowing what project it was for, he recorded
himself and submitted the video. After two
weeks of waiting, he was ;own to Hollywood
for a screen test with new Spider-Man Tom
Holland. Two and a half months after that,
he was on a set, filming his first major
motion picture, Spider-Man: Homecoming, with Holland, alongside screen
veterans Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei
and Jon Favreau. Batalon plays Ned, Peter
Parker’s best friend in high school.
The Connection spoke with Batalon by
phone from his hotel room in Texas, where
he was filming a new movie, Blood Fest.
The actor, who recently turned ;;, was
playing another teenager.
THE COSTCO CONNECTION: How does
it feel to be stuck in high school?
JACOB BATALON: It’s nostalgic. I enjoyed
being young again. It made me feel as if I
could just be young and dumb again.
CC: How would you describe Spider-Man to people who have never heard of
him, never read a comic book, never
seen a movie?
JB: I would say that he’s a teenage boy with
spider po wers and he gets to save people on
a daily basis. He really is just a kid doing
his own superhero thing.
CC: Were you a fan of the comics before
being cast in the ;lm Spider-Man?
JB: I never really read the comics. But
when I got the job, I did a lot of comic book
reading, a lot of research. I enjoyed all the
storylines that come together. I’m now a
CC: You and Tom Holland had great chemistry on screen, and I heard it was instantaneous.
JB: It really was, because we’re the same
age and we’re trying to do the same things.
Tom’s a really great person to be around. I
love him. He’s my brother.
CC: At one point in the ;lm, you got to
put on the mask.
JB: The mask was interesting because you
can’t see out of it. You can barely breathe
out of it. I commend Tom for doing the
whole ;lm with that thing on his face. That
scene was actually an impromptu thing
that Tom and I came up with and somehow
got into the ;lm.
CC: Are you at a point in
your career where you’re
starting to map what you
want to do and how you
want to move forward?
JB: I’m just establishing
myself a little more. I do know
the path I want to take and I do
know where I want to end up
eventually. I’m trying to take
this opportunity to work with
people who have been vetted in
CC: In Spider-Man you held the screen
with Michael Keaton and Robert Downey
Jr. What was it like to work with them?
JB: I think the one thing that stands to reason in an industry with a lot of successful
people is that a lot of them are amazing
people. They see no hierarchy. It’s just
everyone making something, and everyone’s equal. Michael Keaton’s an amazing
man. He’s a really sweet grandfather type.
Robert’s the funniest and weirdest guy you
could ever meet. I love Marisa [Tomei] and
I love Jon Favreau. I didn’t really ask them
directly for any advice with my career or
acting-wise. I just watched how they operated while on set. Because
just watching how they were,
I really learned a lot.
CC: Now that you’ve done
the ;lm, what does
Spider-Man mean to you?
JB: Spider-Man, in a sense,
really jump-started my
life. It’s put me in a good
spot and it will always be
a part of my life. C
Spider-Man: Homecoming (Item #1178281)
is available at all Costco warehouses on
October 17 in BD/DVD/Digital HD combo.
A young actor
books a blockbuster
Spider-Man’s best friend
OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS
Click here to see a clip from Spider-Man:
Homecoming. (See page 10 for details.)
Jacob Batalon as Ned.
Batalon with Tom Holland as
Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man).