EXCLUSIVE: Garcelle Beauvais on Diversity in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' and Refusing to Be 'Boxed In'

By
Bobby Quillard
Garcelle Beauvais doesn't want to be "boxed in."
The 50-year-old actress' career has seen highs in the fashion industry, television, production and film -- with her new role in next month's Spider-Man: Homecoming being her latest accomplishment.
"Oh my god, I was so excited [when I got the call]," Beauvais eagerly told ET over the phone last week. "I was just hanging out at home with my kids, and I get a phone call and my manager is like, 'Hey, I just got an offer for you for a movie.' And I go, 'Wow, that's great! What is it?' He says, 'I can't say anything about it because they won't tell me.'"
"I thought he was pranking me!" she confessed. "I go, 'What's the movie called?' And then he said, 'Spider-Man: Homecoming.' And I was like, 'Oh my god. Stop talking to me. Call them back and say yes!'"
The secrecy surrounding Spider-Man: Homecoming is nothing new for Marvel, whose scripts are often kept under lock and key. It was, however, new for Beauvais, who even at the time of our interview was concerned she might spill too much.
"Marvel obviously knows what they're doing, but hiring Tom Holland, to me, is the best move they did. He is the perfect Spider-Man, in my opinion," she enthusiastically shared, before second-guessing her answer when asked about working with Michael Keaton, who plays the movie's villain, Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture -- and her character's husband.
"Oh my god, [it was] amazing!" she eventually admitted. "As a matter of fact, the first day that I was working with Michael Keaton, and he shows up, and he looks at me, and he goes, 'Wow, I did good!' Which was really funny, and it was great."
Rounding out the cast are young actors like Donald Glover, Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Jacob Batalon and Tony Revolori, making Spider-Man: Homecoming the most diverse Marvel film thus far.

"It's refreshing, it's real, it's about time," Beauvais said. "We're so diverse in so many ways, and that's what's great about being an American, [and films] need to reflect what the real world looks like... Normally there's a token black person, there's a token Asian person, so it was really refreshing. I love that they're doing that, because then my kids can see themselves reflected in a character. I think that's what's cool for this generation coming up."
Part of that new generation is Zendaya, who has been at the forefront of speaking out about racial, social and gender issues.
"Girl is a force to be reckoned with! She's like an older woman in a young person's body," Beauvais said of her 20-year-old co-star. "She owns her stuff. She's not afraid to speak up! I think this generation, with the Zendayas speaking up and the Yaras [Shahidi], it's like, I love that they're not afraid to show their strength and use their mind. It's refreshing. You know, girl power all the way."

Beauvais has also been channeling her "girl power" into her new production company with Lisa L. Wilson, Beauvais Wilson Productions, which aims to bring more diverse, dynamic voices to movies and TV.
"This is the time where women are getting more opportunities to sort of direct and produce and greenlight movies. I felt like, not only is this a great time, but there's also so much more content that is needed, and we really wanted to sort of be able to redirect the narrative," said Beauvais, who is currently producing her own acting project, Lalo's House, a "difficult and emotional" film about child trafficking.
"I think [women are] being validated now more than ever, and not just in the industry, but all across, you know, moms aren't put in boxes anymore," she added. "You don't have to be just a mom. We're not boxed in."
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7.
See more on the film in the video below.