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TOM Holland, Zendaya and Jacob [...]; After the tragic events seen in Avengers: Endgame, Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Jake Gyllenhaal run riot in Europe in Spider-Man: Far From Home. They tell LAURA HARDING about the lighter side of Marvel adventures.

TOM Holland, Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are all squished into a narrow hotel corridor. There is hugging, there is joking, and there is the swapping of stories about the night before.

If this is the dynamic between the raucous trio, it seems to be a miracle they ever managed to make a film together, let alone two.

"It is a little bit hard to focus on work," British-born Tom, 23, admits sheepishly, after he is finally bundled into a room and seated in a chair.

"We are all such good friends and like anything, doing it with your friends is always very unproductive.

"But that is why Jon Watts (director of both Spider-Man: Homecoming and the new Spider-Man: Far From Home) is in charge and that's why he's the leader and he helps us get stuff done."

Zendaya, 22, laughs. "Occasionally I think Jon has had enough of us," she jokes.

While the Avengers films have been plagued by doom and gloom in recent instalments, Spider-Man is distinctly more sunny.

This proves to be literally true in the new caper Far From Home, which follows on from the tragedy of Endgame, as Peter Parker (played by Holland) and his pals MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Batalon) embark on a European school trip.

As Peter grapples with the loss he suffered, he sets his mind to having fun with friends, but he can't dodge calls from Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) forever and must turn his attention to a new threat facing a world that has changed forever.

"Peter definitely wants to be a regular teenager again," Tom confirms.

"He can't wait to take a break and go on a vacation with his friends. But he soon realises what deep down he always knew - that, no matter where Peter finds himself, he belongs in the Spider-Man suit."

The film saw the actors crisscrossing Europe, zipping between Venice, Prague and London, where they drew a predictable amount of attention from bystanders.

"It's kind of cool because these films attract the fans when you're shooting on location, so it's nice to have them show up, it's almost like doing a stage play," Tom says.

"But there is also a lot of us shooting on historical landmarks where people don't care that we are there and really just would like to enjoy their vacation and we are just in their way," Zendaya adds.

"Like, 'I'm trying to enjoy the scenery and can you guys move your cameras out of the way?'.

"We had to lock down a bridge that we were shooting on when we were in Prague, and people were just trying to walk across the bridge to go about their lives.

"We had to keep stopping them while we did our scenes. They would call 'cut' and finally let everybody go through, but then they would stop them again. I felt so bad."

A new addition to not only the cast of Spider-Man but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio.

The 38-year-old Oscar nominee has not made a big-budget blockbuster since 2010's Prince Of Persia, instead focusing on smaller projects such as End Of Watch and Nightcrawler.

"I made a pact with myself a number of years ago," he says, "where I said I really need to know that there is something in a character that I really can discover and that would challenge me but that I could also do well at.

"Then this came up and I thought, 'Oh he's such a wonderful character to play'.

"Their take on it was so great and so were the discussions about how collaborative I could be in creating him and I just loved that, so to me that is the perfect creative relationship and I jumped in."

Jake announced his casting in December last year with a video of himself reading a comic book, captioned: "I just realised I'm not playing Spider-Man."

He laughs at the memory. "I still haven't given up on that! But I don't know a human being who is a Spider-Man fan who has given up on the fact they could be Spider-Man one day."

| Spider-Man: Far From Home is out now in UK cinemas.


Spider-Man and Mysterio meet in the latest storyline

L-R: Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal
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Publication:Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Date:Jul 11, 2019
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