Over the summer, rumors started swirling that Zendaya’s top-secret Spider-Man: Homecoming character is actually Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s famous redhead girlfriend (and eventual wife). And although Zendaya is staying silent about the exact identity of her character — known only as “Michelle” — the actress opened up about the film in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, revealing that her character is not romantically involved with Peter Parker.
“My character is not romantic,” Zendaya said. “My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual, and because she’s so smart, she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people, like, ‘My brain is so far ahead of you that you’re just not really on my level.’ So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she’s deep. She’s always thinking about something, always reading. I like that. And I also like that I don’t really have to do anything for hair and makeup. I just get to walk in and walk out.”
Zendaya added that she’s enjoyed watching fans and bloggers try to guess who she might be playing, and she addressed the critics who’ve argued that Mary Jane can only be played by a white actress.
“Of course there’s going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren’t ready,” she said. “I’m like, ‘I don’t know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it’s beautiful, and that’s what should be reflected and that’s what is reflected, so you’re just going to have to get over it.’”
In addition to Zendaya, Tom Holland stars as the titular webslinger, making his solo film debut after appearing in this year’s Captain America: Civil War. Michael Keaton also stars as the villainous Vulture, alongside Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to hit theaters on July 7, 2017.