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Spider-Verse star Jake Johnson reveals how he cheered up 100,000 people during the pandemic

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Eric Charbonneau/Getty Images for Sony Pictures

In a video chat with Cinemablend‘s podcast, New Girl alum Jake Johnson, who voices Peter B. Parker in the Spider-Verse animated franchise, revealed how he unexpectedly became a real hero to people during the pandemic.

When the pandemic first hit in 2020, Johnson recalled how everyone was nervous, so he leaned on his heroic character to help. “I would send voice notes out to kids as Peter Parker,” he explained. “And it started off as like a little nothing kind of funny thing I did where I just posted something on social media, like, ‘If your kids are spooked, send an email here and I’ll say as Peter Parker that like, ‘It’s going to be fine.'”

He noted, “I was scared about the pandemic, and my kids were young and asking questions that were getting spooky.”

To Johnson’s surprise, the idea took off: “The amount of responses were probably over 100,000 in a day,” he said, adding he needed to get his agency’s help to distribute all the messages.

He continued, “But what really hit me was how sad a lot of the … emails were, and how scared everybody was and how it would be adults being like, ‘Hey man, I know you said “kids,” but I’m 47, I live alone, I’m by myself. I’m terrified. I know I’m not an idiot. I know Peter Parker’s not real. And if you don’t mind, can you say that like, “To Steve: It’s going to be okay?”‘”

Johnson marveled, “It was amazing … And … it’s one of the reasons why I love the franchise so much. We [used] a fictional thing to just help you get through a hard moment.”

He added, “And it doesn’t matter if you’re 8 or 60. That’s f****** awesome.”

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