Laura Harrier is Peter Parker’s love interest in the new movie Spiderman: Homecoming. The fact is – she is biracial. This is a fairly progressive choice, as mix race is rarely relied upon in the entertainment industry.
Director Jon Watts decided to cast a multicultural ensemble for the 2017 feature. Through the casting of Laura Harrier, he portrays a multitude of elements, including the mixing of two races, and thus two cultures. There are also questions of identity. Which race do people perceive a mixed race person to be? How does a mixed race individual label themselves? Another question posed concerns privilege. Are the experiences of people that “pass”, differ to those belonging to one race? Furthermore, how are interracial relationships treated, particularly in 2017’s highly racialised climate?
Harris herself touches on the depth and complexity of mixed race identity stating, “I am a black woman and of course that’s who I’m going to be playing, but I’m also biracial and that’s a different side of the experience.”
She also commented, “I’m really proud to be playing Liz, playing someone little girls can look at and identify with, and understand that she is intelligent and beautiful and driven”. For once, the love interest is truly a fully fleshed out human being.