Director Sam Raimi was amazed when he discovered his Spider-Man 2 star Alfred Molina was a Londoner - because he was convinced the actor was Spanish.

The American movie-maker took his wife GILLIAN's casting advice for the role of bad guy DOCTOR OCTAVIUS, after his spouse saw Molina in OSCAR-nominated film FRIDA.

Raimi says, "My wife said, 'You've got to look at this guy, he's in Frida.' It was a brilliant movie and he was outrageously good in it.

"When I met him, I expected him to have a Spanish accent. I was completely bowled over when I found out that he was a Brit. So it was very weird."

Raimi's assumptions were justified - Molina's father is Spanish and his mother is Italian.

24/06/2004 00:06