Ikinatutuwa ng maraming Pinoy Spider-Man fans na isang Pinoy ang gaganap bilang sidekick at best friend ng bida sa pelikulang Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Ang Fil-American actor na si Jacob Batalon ang gaganap na Ned Leeds, ang best friend ni Peter Parker, na gagampanan naman ni Tom Holland.
Ang Spider-Man: Homecoming ang ikalawang pelikula ni Jacob. Noong 2016, lumabas siya sa pelikulang North Woods.
Ipinanganak sa Hawaii noong 1996, si Jacob ay isa sa maraming aktor na nag-audition para sa role ni Ned.
Bagamat mga experienced actors na ang nakasabay niya, siya ang napili ng mga producers para sa role.
THE BIG MOMENT. Kinuwento ni Jacob sa Show And Tell Hawaii kung paano siya tinawagan ng kanyang agent para sabihin na siya ang napili para sa nasabing role sa bagong Spider-Man movie.
Pag-alala niya, “This was at 10:47 at night, and he said I got a role in the film but he told me the producers weren’t sure what they wanted me to be.
“But I didn’t care.
“I was so happy and elated that I had actually passed out for a good two minutes after my agent called me.”
Nalaman lang niya after a few months na ang role na Ned ang binigay sa kanya.
“It was a week before I flew to Atlanta.
“When they told me I was gonna be Ned, I was in Bryant Park in New York, just going absolutely crazy.
“I was yelling and screaming and cheering.
“I’ll never forget that feeling. But the satisfaction made it all worth the wait.
“I’m extremely blessed to even just be in the film.
“It’s humbling. God has definitely been good to me,” dagdag niyang kuwento.
FORMATIVE YEARS. Nakatapos si Jacob sa Damien Memorial School, isang private Roman Catholic preparatory school sa Honolulu.
After graduating in 2014, uma-attend siya ng two-year program sa New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
“Singing and playing the ukulele really was my thing.
“My mother would make me go up and sing in front of everyone all the time, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it so much as a child because I thought it was torture.
“But in retrospect, I think that’s what helped me get over my fear of being in front of people.” pagpapasalamat niya.
COMING FULL CIRCLE. Pitong taong gulang si Jacob noong una niyang napanood ang first Spider-Man movie niya na pinagbidahan noon ni Tobey Maguire.
“What’s really funny about that is it was the first superhero film I remember fully and actually liked.
“So it’s really crazy how it all came full circle,” lahad niya.
Pinakilala ang buong cast ng Spider-Man: Homecoming sa San Diego Comic Con noong July 2016.
Doon lang daw naramdaman ni Jacob kung gaanong kalaki ang pelikulang ito.
Aniya, “That’s when I realized the gravity of it all.
“I knew this film was big, but being in front of those fans who really love Marvel in general ... it was so humbling.
“It made me realize this is a lot bigger than all of us.
“I just want the fans to be happy, and if they’re happy, I’m happy.
“And yes, most definitely, I am definitely a fan.”
WORKING WITH THE CAST. Sobrang naging close si Jacob sa buong cast ng Spider-Man: Homecoming, lalo na sa bida na si Tom Holland na matagal na niyang nakilala at nakakasabay sa mga auditions.
Sabi niya, “He’s been nothing but nice and great. We all love each other a lot now.
“We made it a point to hang out and be tight with each other before we started filming.
“And now that we’re in the throes of it all, there’s no problem with our chemistry.
“We really do love one another.
“I don’t think this film would be half as good as it is, if these people weren’t with me.
“I appreciate them so much. I’m glad they’re in my life now.”
Para bumagay kay Jacob ang role, ginawan ng Asian “twist” ang pangalan ni Ned.
Imbes na Ned Leeds, ginawa itong Ned Lee.
ROLE. Ito ang pagkaka-decribe niya sa kanyang role:
“Ned is a really innocent and genuine, sweet kid.
“He’s really naive in a sense.
“You know, he just loves Star Wars and he’s super smart and he just loves to play around.
“So, I just went back to when I was a kid, playing Power Rangers and Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon," paglalarawan ni Jacob.