Shameik Moore Talks Manifestation Into Spider-Man

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Peni (Kimiko Glen), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) and Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage) (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Spider-Man, the web slinger himself, is back on the big screen in Sony and Marvel’s newest computer animated movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The movie, which features different Spider Men throughout various dimensions including Spider-Woman, Spider-Ham and Spider-Noir, centers on African-American and Latino Spider-Man Miles Morales, who is voiced by actor and singer Shameik Moore.

“Miles is young, he’s a kid and he’s given all this responsibility out of nowhere,” said Moore. “He has to learn super fast, but he’s really creative, smart, funny and witty, and he has a great upbringing. His mother and father love him very much, which makes him unique already in the Spider-Man universe.”

This movie, according to Moore, is a coming-of-age story for Miles. With the famous catchphrase ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ Miles learns from and teams up with various Spider Men to save the universe from Kingpin, an evil crime lord.

Shameik Moore (Photo by Michael Blank)

To say that Moore wanted this role is an understatement. While filming the 2015 movie Dope, Moore’s castmate Kiersey Clemons gave him a journal in which he wrote ‘I am Miles Morales. I am Spider-Man,’ manifesting the thought into existence.

“Out of all the kids auditioning for this movie, I was chosen,” said Moore. “How important is [the role] to me? I mean how important is it for Miles to save the universe?”

The character of Miles Morales draws some inspiration from notable people. In 2011, Miles was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, with Bendis and Marvel past editor-in-chief Axel Alonso drawing inspiration from both U.S. President Barack Obama and American actor and rapper Donald Glover.

“My approach was that I didn’t think of either one of those people to be honest,” explained Moore. “I definitely had my own approach with it. If Miles was created based off of Barack Obama and Donald Glover, I’m happy to be playing that character. They’re both very inspirational people, not just to our culture, but to the world in general right now. They have a voice, they’re powerful and they made a difference. They had an impact and I can only respect people like that who came before me and laid the ground for me to walk on or in our case to run on.”

What’s even more unique about the movie isn’t the fact that different Spider Men are sharing the big screen together, but the animation, which according to Moore, is jaw dropping.

Miles Morales swings into action to save the universe. (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment)

“The animation that has been created for this is extremely unique,” said Moore. “You can look at the trailer and the trailer’s great, but I don’t think it does the movie justice. I like the trailer—I really do, but the movie…is jaw dropping. It’s one of those movies that I am so thankful to be involved in. I can’t take credit for what it looks like, but I can say that the directors and writers did a great job of making sure that I didn’t let down the fans with my performance. I wanted to make people feel something in the movie theaters with my voice.”

Not only is Moore a talented actor, but he’s also an up and coming musician.

“I started dancing first and then I got into making music when I was 13 or 14,” he said. “Acting was generally the same and didn’t just pop up overnight. It took work, but acting took its own life. People saw me as an actor as a kid, but I wanted to do music. Even now I’m still making music and people still know me as an actor [for now].”

Moore simply said that he wants to naturally express himself in a creative way where he can get his creative expression out.

“I want people to see it, hear it and be inspired by it,” Moore said. “I want people to respect it. It’s just something naturally in me that’s there.”

Moore has quite the year coming up next year with two movies; Cut Throat City, which is directed by RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, and Pretenders, which is directed by James Franco, coming out. Moore also has a mix tape coming out next year called Worth The Risk that he wrote and co-produced.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Jake Johnson, Liev Schreiber, John Mulaney, Nicolas Cage and Lily Tomlin, slings into theaters nationwide on Dec. 14.

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