Emily Deschanel’s Spider-Man 2 Character Explained



Before Bones launched her to stardom, Emily Deschanel made a brief but memorable appearance in Spider-Man 2. The middle chapter of Sam Raimi’s groundbreaking Spider-Man trilogy, Spider-Man 2 is widely regarded to be one of the greatest comic book movies ever made. After the first movie told Spidey’s origin story and detailed how he got his powers and became a beacon of hope in a crime-ridden New York City, Spider-Man 2 took those powers away. The best-remembered Spider-Man 2 actors are big stars like Kirsten Dunst and Alfred Molina, but Emily Deschanel has a role as a great minor character.


Just over a year after her appearance in Spider-Man 2, Emily Deschanel landed the title role of Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan in the Fox procedural Bones. Across its 12-season run, Bones earned Emily Deschanel nominations for a Satellite Award, a Teen Choice Award, and six People’s Choice Awards. While her role in Spider-Man 2 was small, Emily Deschanel left a lasting impression as a deadpan foil for Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. She may have only appeared in one moment, but that scene has become a popular meme, and it sets up the conflict of Peter’s character arc for the rest of the movie.

Emily Deschanel Played A Receptionist In Spider-Man 2

Emily Deschanel as a receptionist behind a desk in Spider-Man 2

At the beginning of Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker is struggling to balance his responsibilities as a college student, a pizza delivery guy, and a web-slinging crime fighter. When his boss threatens to fire him if he can’t make his pizza deliveries in 30 minutes or less, he quickly changes into his Spider-Man costume and races a stack of pizzas across town to an office building. Emily Deschanel plays the receptionist who gives Peter the bad news that he’s late with the delivery, so the pizzas are free. The scene is notable for Peter Parker’s oft-memed “Pizza time!” line.

Emily Deschanel’s Spider-Man 2 scene uses comedy to establish the main conflict of the movie: Peter can’t keep up this balancing act. He doesn’t have enough time to save every New Yorker in danger as Spider-Man and earn a living and complete his college education as Peter – something’s got to give. This sets the stage for Peter’s character arc as he reckons with his great responsibility and questions whether he can keep up his vigilante crusade. On top of that, the dismissive attitude of Emily Deschanel’s receptionist character contrasts with the citizens’ worship of Spider-Man to demonstrate how much better Peter is treated when he’s wearing the red-and-blue spandex.

Deschanel Isn’t The Only Star To Have A Bit Part In Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Franchise

Octavia Spencer at a check-in desk in Spider-Man

Emily Deschanel’s appearance in Spider-Man 2 isn’t the only time a recognizable star had a bit part in Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Lucy Lawless, Jim Norton, and Donnell Rawlings all have cameos as New Yorkers expressing their opinions about Spidey. In the first movie, Octavia Spencer appears at the check-in desk at the wrestling match, and Macy Gray plays herself performing at the World Unity Fair. In Spider-Man 2, Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim plays Otto Octavius’s lab assistant and Community’s Joel McHale plays a bank teller who denies Aunt May a loan. And, of course, frequent collaborator Bruce Campbell cameos in every Raimi Spider-Man movie.


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