Hailee Steinfeld just wants to be a part of something

Returning as Gwen Stacy in ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,’ the actress-singer sees parallels between her career and the character’s sense of self-understanding

When Hailee Steinfeld caught an early screening of “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse,” in which she returns to voice the web-slinging Gwen Stacy,

her Spidey sense tingled with the urge to rescue parts of her performance.

There was one moment, for instance, when Steinfeld thought that an on-the-run Gwen should sound more winded and asked to record a breathier take.

In other scenes, the actress wanted to ramp up the emotion to better match the musical score.

The chance to absorb the animated sequel’s eye-popping visuals informed other notes on how she could fine-tune her voice-over.

“She came out of it going, ‘Okay, here’s 12 lines that I think I can do better,’” says Christopher Miller, a screenwriter and producer on the film.

“It was really inspiring to be like, ‘Fantastic. Let’s do it. Let’s get to the booth again.’”

So Steinfeld went back to the studio and gave the “Spider-Verse” team a host of fresh options. For a 26-year-old performer who has spent half her life immersed in Hollywood —

she delivered her Oscar-nominated performance in 2010’s “True Grit” when she was 13 — Steinfeld brings both an ingenue energy and savvy wisdom to her genre-hopping projects.

“What’s fun about working with Hailee as a filmmaking partner is for someone so young she’s so experienced,” says Phil Lord, Miller’s collaborator who also co-wrote and produced the movie.

“But she also has a sense of authorial ownership over the role and her career. You really see the emergence of someone who’s taking command of her work.”

Lately, that has meant embracing serialized storytelling. When “Across the Spider-Verse” hits theaters Friday as the middle chapter of a trilogy that began with 2018’s “Into the Spider-Verse”

and culminates with next year’s “Beyond the Spider-Verse,” it will be Steinfeld’s latest franchise foray.

She voyaged into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her leading role in the 2021 Disney Plus series “Hawkeye.” A popular recording artist in her own right,

Steinfeld moseyed into musicals via two Pitch Perfect movies. Steinfeld also joined the Transformers saga with 2018’s “Bumblebee.”

After starring in three seasons of the anachronistic period piece “Dickinson” on Apple TV Plus, she’s set to return for Season 2 of Netflix’s dystopian video game adaptation “Arcane.”


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