Marisa Tomei ‘Really Regrets’ Career Shift to Mom Roles: ‘I Try to Make the Most of It’

Zack Sharf

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Marisa Tomei has become a fixture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Aunt May to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Next up for the Oscar winner is a turn playing the mother of Pete Davidson’s character in Judd Apatow’s comedy “The King of Staten Island.” Why the sudden shift to mom characters? In a new interview with Collider, Tomei says she “really regrets starting down this road” when asked about the change.

“I really regret starting down this road and I really regret starting to do that,” Tomei said. “I was, you know, talked into it — not [‘King of Staten Island’], but I mean just that change — and I really always felt like, ‘Oh, I could play a lot of things.’ Honestly, [playing a mom is] probably more of a stretch than other things. But, it’s — yeah, I guess I said it all.”

Related: Marisa Tomei Reveals She Would ‘Love to Sing, Dance in a Movie’

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“I think every actor and actress has a lot of dimensions to them and if the scope of what is being written and being made is narrow, and you want to keep working, you do what you can,” she continued. “I mean, I do. I tried it. It was maybe not the right road, but you know, I do try to make the most of it.”

Tomei singled out Apatow’s “Staten Island” script for making the mother-son relationship such a central part of the story. As for Tomei’s role as Aunt May in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many critics have lamented the “Spider-Man” films for giving the actress nothing of substance to do. In his review of “Far From Home,” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote that Tomei’s Aunt May only exists in the script as “a lust object” for Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), just as she was for Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in “Homecoming.”

When asked what roles she would rather be playing, Tomei responded, “I mean, even genres that I would love to be in, you know? The femme fatale, and in a noir. I still think there are other aspects of even romantic comedies. I really love them, but you know really at a screwball level. There’s so many, many — the breadth of as much as women are, there’s so many roles.”

“The King of Staten Island” debuts on VOD this Friday, June 12. Watch Tomei’s interview with Collider here.

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