Supporting characters often attract a fan base that is at least as big as that of the main character – Ned Leeds from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is one such example. So who is the young actor who portrayed Ned Leeds, won the hearts of millions of comic book and superhero movie fans?
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Early life and Education
Jacob Batalon was born on 9 October 1996 in Honolulu, Hawaii USA; through his parents he is of Filipino descent, but holds American citizenship.
He has a half-brother and a half-sister from his mother, and two half-sisters and three half-brothers from his father. He went to the private Catholic St. Anthony School, then to the private Roman Catholic preparatory school, Damien Memorial School, located in the Oahu, Hawaii US. After matriculating, he enrolled at Kapi’olani Community College, in which he studied Music Theory, however, he dropped out and moved to New York City, where he took a two-year-long study program at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.
Batalon started his acting career in 2016, when he landed the role of Cooper in the horror film “North Woods”. Next year, he had his breakthrough role as the best friend of Peter Parker, Ned Leeds, in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, alongside big Hollywood names such as Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton and Gwyneth Paltrow; he reprised that role in the 2018 “Avengers: Infinity War”, and that same year he was also in the casts for movies “Every Day”, “Blood Fest” and “Banana Split”.
In 2019 he once again portrayed Ned, this time in “Avengers: Endgame”, “Spider-Man: Far from Home”, as well as in the short spin-off films, “Peter’s To-Do List” and “Science Fair”. That year continued busy for him, as he was in feature films “The True Don Quixote” and “Let It Snow”. He also had a guest role in a comedy sketch show “Bubble Gang”, in which he portrayed the character Need, a parody of Ned Leeds from “Spiderman”.
In 2020, he briefly appeared in the short horror series, “50 States of Fright”.
Batalon has also appeared as a guest on several TV shows, most notably on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, “WGN Morning News”, “Entertainment Tonight” and “Extra with Billy Bush”.
He was a guest at the 2016 San Diego Comic Con International too, promoting the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. He also did a voice-over in a non-canon video game called “Spider-Man: Far From Home – Virtual Reality Experience”.
Despite his parents being Filipinos, he has been to the Philippines only once in his life as of May 2020.
He can understand the Filipino Tagalog language, but he can’t speak it really well.
Before becoming an actor, Batalon aspired to become a musician. He loved singing and wanted to learn to play the ukulele, however, he dropped out of college before he finished his music degree. In one interview, he said: ‘I didn’t really enjoy school in general. I dropped out of college in Hawaii, just because I thought school was for losers. But school’s really important.’
He was found by a Los Angeles scouting agency that looked for new faces in Hawaii, and encouraged him to apply to the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts so he could professionally learn acting.
He is primarily represented by Jason Cunningham from Paradigm.
While in the last year of the two-year program, Batalon had his very first audition. He didn’t have many details; he only knew that the audition was for a supporting character for a Marvel movie, and that the only requirement the actor had to have was to be able to portray a teenager. Batalon sent the audition tape but didn’t get his hopes up. However, just a few weeks later, he got a call from Marvel and Sony representatives.
Batalon is a good friend with his “Spiderman: Homecoming” colleague, Tom Holland. The two often call each other ‘brothers’ and even lived together for a short while after the filming ended, before Batalon found a new place to stay. Holland also helped Batalon with advice on his acting career.
Jacob is active on many social media, such as Instagram, on which he has more than 1.2 million followers, plus Twitter and Facebook.
As of May 2020, Batalon is living in Connecticut, USA, with his cousin Christopher ‘Papa Chris’.
Batalon’s exact salary is yet to be disclosed and his acting career isn’t very long. However, as this young actor has already been in several top-grossing Hollywood blockbusters, his net worth is already estimated at around $1 million!
Batalon is a big guy, who is 5ft 5ins (1.65m) tall and weighs around 220lbs (100kgs). He has black hair, although he is usually seen in public without any hair at all, with olive skin tone and dark eyes.