Gwen Stacy is heading back to our screens in Marvel’s Spider-Man. We got to sit down with Laura Bailey and discuss what’s coming up for our friendly neighborhood Spider-Gwen.
There’s certainly no denying that Gwen Stacy has solidified herself as a firm fan-favorite. This time around, she’s being voiced by the inimitable Laura Bailey.
I had the chance to talk with Bailey ahead of the premiere about everything from science, to love, to the power of female friendships.
Science is a superpower
With as many times as Gwen Stacy has already graced our screens, it can be easy to draw comparisons between her incarnations. But Bailey is confident that her Gwen is one we’ve never experienced before.
“They took a fresh approach at Spider-Man and all of the characters surrounding him,” Bailey said. “Whereas [the] Gwen Stacy you know in the Spider-Man movie, where we saw her before, she’s a lot older. In here she’s just starting out, but she’s incredibly capable.”
And, as with any version of Gwen, science is a huge part of her DNA. Much like Melanie Minichino’s Anya Corazon, Gwen Stacy will also prove a powerful role model for anyone watching — especially when it comes to inspiring them into an interest in STEM.
Bailey told us, “I love how intelligent they’ve made her, how powerful and brave they’ve made her in that intelligence.”
“I think the series does a really amazing job of, outside of just superpowers, making intelligence and learning something kids want to strive toward,” she continued. “It makes science cool, you know?”
But the science is more than just cool, it also played as important a part in tackling the villains of the series as Spider-Man’s powers did.
“All of the kids, including Gwen, have a wonderful moment where they can step up and solve the problems and help solve these huge, you know, crimes, or whatever’s attacking the school or attacking Spider-Man,” Bailey said. “They can help solve that with their brain.”
Does whatever a Spider-Gwen can
As powerful as Gwen’s brain is, she’ll also — eventually — take up the moniker of Spider-Gwen and join Peter on his adventures. But with Gwen’s influence, how will that affect Peter’s approach to being a superhero?
“You know, I think the show focuses a lot on teamwork, even before any of the other students, including Gwen, get any kind of superpowers,” Bailey said. “So it’s hard for him to deal with that, but there’s comedy there and there’s a great growth in figuring out how to work with everybody else with their powers and also without their powers.”
Love, friendship and family
For fans, Gwen Stacy has always been one of Peter’s greatest loves — outside of M.J., of course. Whether the show is about to embark on an epic romance between the two remains to be seen, but Bailey seems to be up for it.
“I’m always a huge fan of romance in series. When I watched X-Men when I was a kid, the hinted romance between Rogue and Gambit always, you know, it made my little heart pitter-patter,” Bailey said — and, I very much concurred with her Rogue and Gambit opinions.
“I don’t know where exactly their relationship is going to go in this series,” she continued. “But they do certainly have some really amazing bonding moments early on in the series as Gwen discovers that her family isn’t everything they seemed to be.”
“Peter does this amazing job of helping her through that and comforting her and it really ignites their relationship as friends. So I do hope to see more of that in the future.”
That emotional upheaval regarding Gwen’s family is the discovery that her uncle is more than he first appears — and it throws some serious complications into the mix for them, and their relationship.
“We actually recorded the scenes discovering that he was the Jackal a few times to just get it right and make sure that the emotional state that she was in made sense for it,” Bailey said. “It was a really difficult scene to record.
“But moving on, I think [Gwen], more than anything, wants to prove that that’s not what it has to be and that’s not what she is. And she does amazing things for Spider-Man and for Peter afterwards.”
However, Peter isn’t the only support that Gwen has in Marvel’s Spider-Man. Gwen and Anya have a close, strong and enduring friendship throughout the series. One that Bailey seemed incredibly enthused about.
“I think that their friendship is incredibly strong in this series, and I love the way it’s presented,” Bailey said. “There’s not any kind of pettiness between the two girls. They’re part of a team working together. And if they have any kind of conflict, it’s just because maybe their thought processes are different on how they would approach solving a problem.”
“I think that’s a really great thing to see. For younger girls to see that you can work together and both of you can be strong, all of you can be strong, together, if you just raise each other up.”
‘MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN’ PREMIERES SATURDAY, AUGUST 19 ON DISNEY XD
Additional reporting by Maj Elisabeth.