The self-dubbed International Spider-Man has finally revealed his secret identity. Jeramie de Roma has been donning the mask since 2018 and representing the web-crawler on TikTok and Instagram since 2019.
Roma is a 22-year-old Filipino California resident who’s love for Spider-Man began at an early age when his mom bought the superhero’s movies and merchandise.
“She [Roma’s mom] and my grandma say my whole obsession with Spider-Man is entirely her fault,” Roma said. “She’s bought every Spider-Man toy and DVD for me from the very beginning.”
According to Roma, before revealing his identity people in his personal life were so excited and supportive of his next venture. His mother helped him with his hair, his girlfriend helped him with makeup. This Spider-Man had an entire support system behind him ready to assist in any way they could.
“They helped me be more excited for it rather than nervous,” said Roma.
The internet star revealed his identity live on Instagram and TikTok during his 22nd birthday, May 13, 2022 after years of steady contemplation on whether he should unmask or not.
“My intention was to reveal my identity on the one year anniversary, then the whole secret identity thing really brought traction to my page,” Roma stated. “But it’s been three years of debating.”
According to Roma, his personal and professional life were major factors in him ultimately revealing that he’s Spider-Man.
“My manager has brought a ton of opportunities for me, but I wouldn’t be able to legally take those brand deals or roles just being Spider-Man,” he stated. “My personal life is also drastically changing.
“Stan Lee said Spider-Man could be anybody of any color. For those who are upset about who I am, it’s unfortunate that I don’t fit their own internal expectations of me, but I am and have been the best Spider-Man I could be.”Jeramie de Roma
After five years of self development, this year has so much potential and it’s time for the next step. Time to move on to bigger things. Both for me, and for Spider-Man.”
Roma was also concerned with losing the essence of his Spider-Man. Not for himself, but for the followers that enjoy his internet presence.
“The main thing was knowing that I’m the only one on TikTok to be true to character and to be so accurate to make people believe that I could possibly be the real Spider-Man or Tom Holland,” said Roma. “And knowing that, I realized if and when I ever did a face reveal, I could never take it back and I would lose that unique aspect of me forever. Knowing that made it a super tough decision and I needed to be sure that I wanted to do a face reveal.”
Roma stated that keeping true to the Spider-Man character has preserved his own personal values while pursuing a career in acting and entertainment.
“Spider-Man has been a huge part of my growth,” Roma admitted. “Keeping in character, really just made me keep true to myself and to my character.”
When asked if he thought people would be surprised at who’s under the mask, Roma articulated that some were.
“There are many opinions,” Roma said. “I know some are surprised at the fact that I’m not Tom Holland, some aren’t surprised I’m not. Some are surprised that I’m some random guy, some aren’t.”
Roma mentioned that, in comics, Peter Parker was just some random kid who was bitten by a spider and, Stan Lee, one of the co-creators of the character, said Spider-Man could be anyone.
“Stan Lee said Spider-Man could be anybody of any color,” Roma continued. “For those who are upset about who I am, it’s unfortunate that I don’t fit their own internal expectations of me, but I am and have been the best Spider-Man I could be. Leading up to my face reveal, I’ve had people already say that I am their Spider-Man no matter what. I’ve had people message me more personally about how much me being Spider-Man has helped them through whatever it was they were going through, and that’s enough.”
In one of our previous conversations, Roma, as Spider-Man, shared his battle with mental health, deciding to attempt suicide at 17.
“I think back on that sometimes,” he said. “I always think, ‘If I had gone through with it, I would have missed out on so much. Much more than I ever could have anticipated for myself.’ My goal in life was and is to be the man I needed as a kid. I’m farther than I’ve ever thought I’d be.”
Roma’s future in the entertainment industry is uncertain, but he wants to give that career a go. He’s currently taking acting classes and is excited to break into the business.
“I’m in a stage of endless opportunity right now,” Roma said. “I’ve spent five years struggling in the dark hallway. I’ve worked on bettering myself physically, emotionally, mentally and financially. Now that I’ve done so, I’ve painted the hallway, installed the lights I needed, and I’ve built these four doors pretty well for my first time. Now I’m at the end of this hallway of these four doors—mental, emotional, physical, and financial.”
According to Roma, all he wants to do is see what comes next and unmasking helps him figure that out.
“All I have left to do is walk through each and every one of those doors to see what comes next,” Romas said. “The only thing to decide is, which door first?”
Romas stated that he will always focus on International Spider-Man, but this reveal will allow him the opportunity to try out other characters as well.
“I already have [tried other characters] on my personal TikTok account and people are raving over my specific race being this specific character,” Roma explained. “Not only do I think Asians are the least explored, but Filipinos are. We’ve had Shang Chi, now it’s time for a Filipino Marvel hero. Just like Jim Gordon going from black to white, people should see an asian Johnny Storm. Maybe half Asian, and it most likely won’t even be me. Who knows?”
Roma will always identify with Spider-Man, he said.
“I think I’d like the public to know that I am Spider-Man, and for those who don’t consider me to be their Spider-Man, I hope to connect with my audience more and more and be there to inspire everyone I can. Always look out for the little guy. I may be unmasking just to be deemed a ‘cosplayer’ now, but I am Spider-Man.”Jeramie de Roma