New school Spidey
GF’s Bree Player geeked out on all things Spidey with the man himself, Tom Holland.
GF chats to Tom Holland and Zendaya!
THE ANTICIPATION HAS BEEN BUILDING SINCE CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR FOR SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. WHAT HAS THE WAIT BEEN LIKE FOR YOU?
It’s been as gruelling for me as it has for the fans! I’m just as excited to see the movie as they are. It’s a movie I would see regardless of me being in it and the fact that I am in it makes me want to see it even more.
WERE YOU A FAN OF SPIDER-MAN GROWING UP?
A huge, huge fan. I was always jumping off the bannister when I was a kid. I had Spider-man costumes, toys, pillowcases, you name it. Playing him was a dream and the fact that it’s come true, well, I can’t quite believe it’s happened.
THE WAY YOU FOUND OUT YOU LANDED THE ROLE WAS UNUSUAL. CAN YOU TELL US HOW THAT WENT DOWN?
I was in bed scrolling through Instagram and Marvel posted a photo that said to ‘find out who the new Spider-man is go to our website’, so I went to the website and I was lucky enough that it said my name. I went absolutely bonkers and my poor little dog was in my bed with me and she freaked out because she had no idea what was going on.
WHAT DID IT FEEL LIKE TO KNOW YOU SCORED THE ROLE?
It was a gruelling process auditioning and the funny thing is I became so stressed about getting the role, that when I got it I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I thought, ‘Oh, thank God I got the role’. But then I thought, ‘Oh my God, I got the role’ and the weight landed back on my shoulders immediately because I suddenly realised the pressure and expectations.
IS IT TRUE THAT CHRIS HEMSWORTH CALLED AND GAVE YOU ADVICE?
That is true, and it was very sound advice. He told me my life would change and to keep my head down, stay grounded, keep my friends and family close. I like to think that I’ve followed his advice well.
HOW DID YOU FEEL STEPPING INTO THE SPIDER-MAN COSTUME FOR THE FIRST TIME?
This is a funny story actually, because the answer is it was rather disappointing. I had been cast very late in the filming schedule, so they had already started filming with my stunt double, who is a fair bit bigger than me. So the first time
I tried it on it was baggy and loose, definitely not quite as exciting as I had imagined it would be. When I got one made to my size and tried that on, it was really cool.
WE’VE DISCOVERED IN THE SPIDER-MAN/ MARVEL FANDOM, THE SUIT IS A BIG DEAL AND THERE’S LOTS OF DISCUSSION ONLINE ABOUT IT, WHAT IS THE COOLEST THING ABOUT YOUR SUIT?
I think one of the coolest things is the way Peter can take it on and off. You see in the trailer that it can go baggy and it can go tight which is a very cool feature and it’s never really been explained before how he gets in or out of his suit. Also the texture of is not too dissimilar to a basketball and I just think it’s really cool.
HOW IS YOUR VERSION OF SPIDER-MAN DIFFERENT TO TOBEY MAGUIRE’S AND ANDREW GARFIELD’S?
It’s different because I’m much younger, so we were able to focus on the younger version of the character. The previous movies have definitely been Spider-man movies, whereas our movie is a Peter Parker movie and it’s about Peter Parker learning to become Spider-man.
IN THE FILM WE SEE PETER PARKER IN HIGH SCHOOL. WHAT WAS
YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE OF HIGH SCHOOL LIKE?
Definitely wasn’t doing extensive maths and science like Peter. I went to a regular state school in London where I played rugby and cricket, and I didn’t do too badly at school, I tried my best. I don’t miss it, but it was a good experience. I had really good friends that I’m still friends with now.
WE HEARD YOU INJURED YOURSELF DOING ONE OF THE STUNTS?
I’d like that to be true, but I actually injured myself falling down the stairs, so it wasn’t as heroic as some reports have made it sound.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WORKING WITH ZENDAYA?
It was amazing – she’s a really wonderful person. She brought a lot to the character, who initially wasn’t a big character in the first draft. I also consider her a really good friend. She’s obviously been going through this whole fame thing for a while and I’ve just started going through it, so I regularly ask her advice about this crazy experience and she’s really helpful with that.
YOU AND THE OTHER YOUNGER CAST MEMBERS SEEM LIKE A FAM IN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PICS – ARE YOU ALL CLOSE?
Jon [Watts, the director] was adamant that we became close even before we started shooting, so he set up all sorts of different activities so we’d get to know each other better, and it really helped the movie. I think the best part about Andrew Garfield’s movies was the relationship him and Emma Stone had on screen, and I think Jon tried hard to recreate that but on a bigger scale with our crew.
WAS IT DAUNTING TO WORK WITH RENOWNED ACTORS LIKE MARISA TOMEI AND ROBERT DOWNEY JR?
Yeah, it was daunting you know, but they were all so wonderful. By the time they came to set I had been shooting for six to seven
weeks so I felt like they were coming onto my movie, and thought I had to show them the ropes a little bit. But then I was very quickly and keenly aware that wasn’t the case. I’m very lucky and so grateful I got to work with them.
WE’VE SEEN YOU POPPING INTO CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS DRESSED IN YOUR SPIDERMAN SUIT, WHICH IS SO KIND AND ADORABLE. WHAT IS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR YOU?
It’s my favourite thing about being Spider-man. One thing Zendaya taught me is that when you are given an opportunity to make a difference, you have to do that. These kids can’t leave the hospital and they very rarely get visitors, so it makes a huge difference to their lives. I’m just so happy that I have the ability to do that.
NEXT WE’LL SEE YOUR SPIDER-MAN IN AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR AND THERE’S ALREADY BEEN CONFIRMATION OF A HOMECOMING 2. WHERE ARE YOU AT WITH THE PRODUCTION OF THOSE FILMS?
Avengers is well underway but I’m a little bit in the dark with Homecoming 2 and I think that’s because they know I have a big mouth. We don’t have a villain or a script yet but that will start coming through in the next few months. I’m looking forward to being part of that process and then putting the suit back on and getting to work.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in cinemas July 6.
“Peter Parker is probably the most relatable superhero maybe ever,” Tom says.
“This Tom Holland guy is something else,” says co-star and admirer Robert Downey Jr.