Many comic-book stories have revolved around Peter’s reaction when Aunt May is in danger, either because of a supervillain or her frail health. In a memorable sequence in the movie “Spider-Man 2,” she was snagged by Doctor Octopus and taken to the top of a skyscraper. Spider-Man had to swing to the rescue.
The sequence was a rare opportunity for Harris to take part in special-effects work, with some shots filmed in front of a blue screen and others shot on a soundstage replica of the skyscraper.
“They had built four stories of the building, and I was standing on the window ledge,” she recalled. She was protected with a thin, body-fitting harness (“It’s the same thing the Cirque du Soleil people wear,” she said) and wires that supported her . . . for the most part.
“One time just before they were going to take a shot of me falling, they suddenly shouted out ‘Don’t jump yet! Your wires have lost their memory!’ It was alarming.”
She isn’t sure exactly what a wire having lost its memory means, but she waited for them to reprogram the computers that controlled the wires. “Then they said, ‘OK, now you can jump,’ and I said, ‘Thanks a lot.'”