Wonderland.

LAURA HARRIER

The new girl in a wondrously nerdy world.

All clothing and accessories LOUIS VUITTON Pre-Fall 17

In the past 15 years alone, Hollywood has served us two Spider-Man franchises. The first saw Tobey Maguire play an excellent—and emo—iteration in his career-defining role, arguably the catalyst for the last decade and a half of Marvel mania we’ve been enjoying in the mainstream media. The second—starring real-life (former) couple, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone—transformed the storyline into a fully-fledged romantic saga. This week, Spider-Man: Homecoming will hit: a film that focuses on a teenage Peter Parker (Tom Holland).

With those halcyon years come all-consuming adolescent crushes. This time around, Spidey has a new love interest: Liz Allan, played by Brooklyn based newcomer Laura Harrier. In the comics, Liz is initially described as your basic semi-bitchy popular girl, but Harrier and Homecoming are presenting a different take. “Liz is a popular girl, but she isn’t the stereotypical teenage popular girl you see in movies,” the actor explains. “She’s not a cheerleader. She’s super smart, she’s a valedictorian, she does the academic decathlon, she’s on every committee. She’s the most driven, Type A person in school, but she’s also kind and that girl who hung out with everybody.” With Spider- Man as the official hero of nerds worldwide, the arrival of a female heroine to match is long overdue.

All clothing and accessories LOUIS VUITTON Pre-Fall 17

The addition of a new star altogether is fuelling the fever, especially considering Harrier is the first black actor to have a substantial romantic role in a Spider-Man property (the incomparable Zendaya Coleman will also star in Homecoming). She seems like a performer who’s going to stick around; the Chicago-native began her career as a model, later becoming a Bulgari ambassador and fronting a Calvin Klein campaign, but acting has always been her aim. “[Modelling] isn’t my passion or something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she admits. “I just decided to stop, to go to drama school and to try out this path.”

Said path is going well, with her part as Liz set to be Harrier’s blockbuster break. “I had never been on a set of that size, scale and budget,” she explains. “I was a bit intimidated before going into it, but I was surprised how close-knit it felt, seeing as we were making this giant movie that millions of people are going to see, hopefully!”

All clothing and accessories LOUIS VUITTON Pre-Fall 17

“We definitely had fun,” she grins, despite the initial anxiety. “I remember having some crazy laughs and P.A.s would have to come and tell us, ‘Guys, we’re rolling, you need to stop!’”

And the enormity of the role certainly isn’t lost on her. “[Spider-Man] is a classic piece of Americana,” she says. “Every kid was Spider-Man at Halloween and read the comics and watched the TV show, and now to be part of that—it’s really cool.”

Besides working on an intense Marvel/Sony set—the studio is so secretive that Harrier didn’t even receive the script until filming started—Harrier has been vocal about politics, using her large following to talk about Trump and his ilk. “I feel weird, angry and upset,” she sighs. “I think everyone went through the period of shock and disbelief and desperation, but I also think we can’t allow this to be normalised. The pressure is on to keep fighting, because when people become complacent, that’s when the real damage is done.” Although her new role means she’s about to be thrust into the spotlight and under the media’s scrutiny, even with all the pressure and risk that fame implies, Harrier isn’t planning on shutting up. “I can’t predict the future, but I can’t see myself being quiet about things that I care about,” she argues. Art imitates life: both on screen and off, Laura Harrier is 2017’s new heroine.

Taken from the Summer 17 Issue of Wonderland; out now and available to buy here.

All clothing and accessories LOUIS VUITTON Pre-Fall 17

Photography
Rebekah Campbell
Fashion
Danielle Nachmani
Words
Jocelyn Silver
Hair
Teddi Cranford at White Rose Collective using Oribe
Makeup
Walter Obal at Atelier Management using Obal Oil
Photography Assistant
Marcel Castenmiller
LAURA HARRIER

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