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Monday, June 14, 2004


Tobey Maguire's not the only one who got to swing around for Spider-Man 2.

On Easter Sunday 2003, New Yorkers got to see something pretty incredible: 75-year-old Rosemary Harris in a harness doing her own stunts for the sequel.

As revealed in recent promotional spots, Harris' Aunt May falls into the clutches of Doctor Octopus and Spider-Man must come to the rescue.

The scene shows Aunt May's gumption -- and the filming of it showed Harris' gumption as she got involved in the physical aspects in a variety of harnesses.

"I was a bit miffed at first, because my wonderful stunt double was going to do a lot of the harness maneuvers," Harris recalled. "So I asked Sam (Raimi, direcotr) and Laura (Ziskin, prodcuer), 'Why not let me have a go at it?' At first they were reluctant. But I begged them to at least let me try and they finally relented."

"I've never seen an actress with as much gusto and gumption as Rosemary," Raimi said. "What a trooper. She would just get on that wire and go on her wild ride in Doc Ock's arms. And the first thing she¹d say afterwards was 'Let's do it again! Can I do it again?' She was completely fearless. I loved it!"

"I adored every minute of it. It was wonderful, just the best feeling," Harris said. "The only time I've flown before was when I played Peter Pan in an outdoor production, and that was a long time ago. I remember that I was airborne as Peter Pan just as the Sputnik satellite was passing by in the sky overhead!"

Action sequences aside, Aunt May is a key character in Spider-Man 2, as she and Peter continue to struggle with the loss of Uncle Ben. There are two major conversation between the characters that affect Peter's decision-making process.

Producer Avi Arad noted that Aunt May's involvement is one of the emotional elements that sets Spider-Man apart from other summer movie franchises.

"Who would've taken an 80-year-old widow, Aunt May, and played her the way we did?" Arad said.

"You've seen a lot of movies so far this summer, and I don't know if you've seen a lot of emotion."

A former Tony Award winner and Academy Award nomineee, Harris has gained new fans with the Spider-Man franchise.

"It's wonderful to have fans who are four years old come up to you and say 'Are you really Peter Parker's aunt?' And when I say 'Yes,' their eyes get bigger and bigger. It's very thrilling," she said.

E-mail the Continuum at RobAlls@aol.com

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