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Doctor Octopus ‘Completely Changed My Life’

Doctor Octopus ‘Completely Changed My Life’


  • Alfred Molina says being cast as Doctor Octopus in
    Spider-Man 2
    (2004) completely changed his life.
  • Molina was surprised when he got the opportunity to reprise the role of Doc Ock in
    Spider-Man: No Way Home
  • Molina was “delighted” to bring the character back to life, and says Doc Ock is “great fun to play.”

Doctor Octopus “completely changed my life.” Those are the very humble words from Golden Globe-nominated actor, Alfred Molina. Believe it or not, Molina was actually “surprised” to land the part of the webslinger’s villain, Doctor Octopus, in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, because the thespian didn’t think he “qualified for” that “kind of movie.”

Fast-forward almost 20 years to the teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) dropping online. Anyone who has ever watched a “reaction” video to that footage knows that Marvel fans lost their minds when Molina’s Doc Ock showed up at the end and said, “Hello, Peter.” And the actor is “delighted” to have reprised the role, which he says, “completely changed my life.” Molina also said during his new interview with Vanity Fair:

“I was delighted, obviously.
Apart from the fact that
it’s great fun to play,
playing that part, in all honesty,
completely changed my life.
I mean, it did. It just took everything not just to a different level, but also to
a whole other group of cinema fans.

There’s a fan group that loved all the movies like Chocolat and Enchanted April and Frida and all those movies. And
now suddenly the children of those people are kind of digging Fred Molina ’cause he’s playing Doc Ock.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man 3 / Spider-Man: No Way Home

Release Date
December 17, 2021

2hr 28min

Columbia Pictures, Pascal Pictures, Marvel Studios

The Multiverse Unleashed.


Stepping into the Role of Spider-Man’s Villainous Doc Ock

Alfred Molina has the distinction of playing Doctor Octopus in the two best live-action Spider-Man films of all time. In hindsight, casting Molina seems a no-brainer as the incomparable choice to portray Peter Parker’s (Tobey Maguire) friend-turned-foe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. But when he first met with Raimi, Molina wasn’t sure he was the right actor for the role. Molina said in the same interview:

“We had a great meeting.
And I kept saying, ‘Look,
I’m up for it.
But I’ve got to be honest with you,
I’ve never done anything like this before.
And I’ve certainly never worked on a film with all this technology,
I’ve never done much green screen or anything like that.”

Molina continued:

“But what swung it was we did a screen test,
where they gave me an approximation of the costume — the big leather [harness] with the big trench coat. And then Avi Arad, who at the time was
the head of Marvel, takes off his sunglasses and goes, ‘Put these on.’
I put the sunglasses on, and the whole room sort of went,
‘Oh, this could be the image.’ And I think that’s what swung it.”


Best Alfred Molina Movies, Ranked

Despite having played predominantly supporting roles, his acting repertoire has amassed quite the reputation as a trustworthy actor.

Certainly, Molina’s portrayal of one of Spider-Man’s greatest on-screen villains continues to resonate with the fans, but the actor couldn’t have been more surprised when he was asked to bring the character back to life — quite literally — in the MCU’s multiversal Spider-Man: No Way Home in 2021. Molina also told VF:

“Coming back 17 years later to play the character again,
no one was more surprised than me.
When they asked me,
I said, ‘You realize I’m quite a bit older?
I’ve got crow’s feet, I’ve got a wattle, you know, a double chin, I’ve got bad knees. And Jon Watts [director] and Amy Pascal [producer] said, ‘No, no,
it’s your role. We want you back.
We can fix all that, we’ll de-age you.
We’ve got the technology, we can change everything.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home became one of the most successful financial entries in the MCU with a worldwide take of $1.9 billion. And Alfred Molina’s brilliant portrayal of the once villainous Doc Ock helping the Spider-Men (Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield) defeat and cure the other Marvel baddies, also landed with the fans and critics alike.

Spider-Man 2
is available to stream on
Spider-Man: No Way Home
can be seen on most digital and VOD platforms, at the time of this writing.

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