These Two Latinas Are Behind the Art Direction of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ and We Love To See It
Unless you are one of those movie buffs that stays in the movie theater until the last credit drops, you won’t recognize the names of Samantha Ávila and Frances Hernández, but without these two Latinas, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” wouldn’t be the same.
None of them can be called newcomers in Hollywood, just the opposite. The amount of experience these two Latinas have amassed in their relatively short careers is incredible, and the importance of the projects they have been a part of is nothing short of outstanding.
Before getting into the details of their spectacular trajectory and their role in this 2021 Spidey film adventure, take a pause and think of these two movies: “A Wrinkle in Time” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
While it’s not clear if Ávila and Hernández worked in the same geographical space, or managed to exchange a “hola, ¿de dónde son tus padres?,” the two of them share the title of art director in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
This is not Hernández’s first foray into the superhero world. She was an assistant art director in “Spider Man: Homecoming” and has been working in the entertainment industry since 2016, when she became part of the art team of “True Detective,” the HBO series with Matthew McConaughey.
Funny enough, while she loved art while growing up in North Carolina, her “sueñito,” as Usnavy would say in “In The Heights,” was to play professional basketball. This was a dream come true for her at 25 years old, but an ankle injury took her off the court. Well, with that door closed, another door opened, connecting her to her passion for people and art.
She had the support of her family. “I was bred to love food and people. And living in the middle of nowhere left me to my imagination and art,” she says. “For me personally, I think that’s what sets me apart, is really telling the most authentic story (visually) there is to tell. It’s not just about elaborate sets and cool imagery. It’s about what’s the most genuine setting you can give this character(s) for them to be in. And when you can create sets that take the viewer into the story, into another world, that’s the most fulfilling,” Hernández explains.
Also going by the title of art director is Samantha Ávila who grew up outside of Houston, with an affinity to science and fantasy. Her career launched in Texas and took her all the way to becoming art director in two popular HBO series: “Westworld” and “The Brink.”
Her idea of the perfect work environment is a place where you “feel like you don’t have (artistic) limits. It sets things in motion. You want to be a part of the film when somebody is that invested and excited,” she says, regarding her experience working on “Lucy in the Sky.”
Sony’s big jefa Amy Pascal has promised that Peter Parker will meet Miles Morales in the Spiderverse. For non-superheroes geeks, Miles Morales is a Latino Spider-Man in another dimension. In the meantime, let’s celebrate our two Latinas jefas that helped create this hombre araña.
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