Tony Revolori explains why he wanted to create a new Flash Thompson for the digital age in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
When it comes to teen movies, there’s nothing more cliché than the relationship between our protagonist and the bully — who is often portrayed as a massive jock who just wants to destroy our hero for sometimes no reason, and then is easily outwitted by said hero.
On the surface Spider-Man: Homecoming could easily fall into this trap, — as it has in the two previous Spider-Man reboots — but diversified casting and an updated character makes Peter Parker’s high school foe, Flash Thompson, infinitely more compelling and relevant.
Tony Revolori, who plays Flash, recently chatted with HelloGiggles about the upcoming film, and opened up about bringing the iconic bully to life — with a twist. Revolori revealed that his approach during the auditions— which began when he first auditioned for the role of Ned, Peter’s best friend — was to keep his character and Peter on the same level, full of gentle ribbing and light teasing.
When he was cast as Flash, Revolori kept this bit up and focused on bring a more relevant form of current bullying to life — social media in the digital world.
"I don't want to be a physical bully or anything like that because that's not really what happens now," Revolori explained. "It's all about the social comments on social media and everything. And so how do you bring that online bully to real life?"
But modernizing this high school bully wasn’t just about turning Flash into a social media age bully, it also gave him real-life motivations and reasons for being the way he is. Instead of being a strapping jock who picks on Peter because he’s a “dork,” Flash has his own — though, not necessarily justifiable — ideology behind treating Peter and Ned the way he does.
“I [want] to make sure people know where [Flash is] coming from. Why he is the way he is. He’s cocky because of money, but he’s also not the best so he hates Peter for the fact that it comes so easy to him,” Revolori continued. The actor added that the writers and producers behind Spider-Man: Homecoming also didn’t force too many bully stereotypes on the character, which made it easier to understand Flash as a “real” teenager.
"We made it so that way, Flash is Peter's equal. He's just as smart," Revolori added. "They all go to this school and sure maybe Flash's dad pays for him to go there, but regardless, he is a smart kid. And I think by that fact we didn't want to make it...you can't be smart and a jock and be this physical a-hole."
Not gonna lie, we’re obsessed with Revolori’s Flash Thompson and hope to see him back for more Spider-Man films. You can see exactly how Peter gets under Flash’s skin when Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7th!