Omair Alavi|Published June 29, 2019
Meet Tom Holland. He is your ‘friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’ and he will be coming soon to a screen near you on July 5, 2019.
Before Spider-Man: Far From Home makes it to the cinemas worldwide, Holland sat down with this scribe in Bali, for an exclusive interview for Dawn Young World. The interesting discussion with this Hollywood star ranged from what makes him the most popular Spider-Man to how he keeps himself away from the spotlight and when will he be swinging in the streets of Pakistan.
Tom Holland even expressed his desire to be amongst his fans in Pakistan. Well, you never know, superheroes can turn up anywhere!
Let’s check out the latest from Tom Holland as we await his Spidery treat to hit the screens!
How does it feel to be one of the most popular actors playing one of the most popular screen characters in the world?
It is a pretty crazy thing man; I am just a kid from Kingston. Now I am here in Bali doing press tour which doesn’t help you get sympathy from your friends as I told them that ‘I am tired in Bali’ and they said ‘Oh shut up, dude’.
I realise I am a very lucky man and am grateful to everyone who believed in me and gave me a chance. I am even more grateful to the fans who have been so supportive throughout.
When you became Spider-Man, did you have any idea that you would become so popular?
When I was chosen as the third Spider-Man after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, I had no clue that being Spider-Man will take me to new heights, literally. Had someone told me at that time that one day I would be going to Bali to promote a Spider-Man film, I would have laughed at that person.
So here I am, with my brothers, relaxing as well as working at the same time which is a huge deal for a ‘boy from Queens’ (smiles).
How was it when you went to audition for Spider-Man for the first time?
Oh, it was a different experience altogether. Sarah Finn, the casting director for Marvel who has done every single Marvel movie from Robert Downey Jr to me, was the one who changed my life.
I remember going into the audition having a cool hat on, had rolled my sleeves up, been going to the gym and was feeling very cool believing that I would get the role.
It was Sarah who came up to me and said to me that ‘No, no, no! You have to change your T-shirt, it should be a baggy T-shirt’ and then she made me lose my hat as I looked too cool in it according to her. She made me a little geeky and helped me put my best foot forward in the audition, and for that, I would ever be grateful.
How close is the plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home tied to the Endgame?
It is very, very close because it’s a direct continuation of Avengers: Endgame. People say that I spoil everyone’s movie, so I will not reveal anything.
What I can tell you is that the film takes place after Iron Man’s death and how it affects Spider-Man, with whom he shared a bond, a special one.
The film has exciting prospects and there are much bigger things on the horizon that can happen. It is not just funnier than the previous film, but also has more action than before.
How different is this film from the previous Spider-Man outings?
“I think that if I had grown up reading comics, I would have been a different person. Comics are such a wonderful way of making you come up with new creative ideas for films”
In the previous film, whatever Peter Parker did was under the radar, but here we put him at the world’s stage to show the world what he can do. He basically has to learn how to step up and become the next kind of Avenger. It is a really, really fun process to see him figure it out.
He learns that the responsibility of becoming Spider-Man is not something you can just put down. And he basically figures out that being the ‘friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’ isn’t enough anymore — he needs to become the ‘friendly world Spider-Man’ to step up.
You got to work with Samuel L Jackson in the film. What was the experience like?
Samuel L Jackson and I may be from different age groups, but we got on very well. He is an electrifying, wonderful guy to work with and we bonded over golf, where he emerged as a much better player.
It was a pleasure working with him because I have always looked up to him; he is basically the guy who kick-started the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we are lucky to have him in our film.
His character is a little authoritative, which makes our relationship interesting because Peter Parker gets along with everyone — Nick Fury is the first person he doesn’t really get along with.
It is quite exciting for me to get to explore this other side of Peter Parker.
And then there was Jake Gyllenhaal, your idol?
We are so lucky to have Jake in the film.
As a kid growing up, I loved his movies and if you look at my previous interviews, whenever I have been asked about who I would love to work with, I have always taken Jake’s name.
Some people told me that don’t ever meet your heroes because they might not fit your expectations, but Jake lived up to my every expectation. We became such good friends and I think he is going to be very proud of his work in this flick.
At 23, you have become a global star; don’t you think that puts you under the spotlight all the time, even you don’t need all that attention?
Actually no, because when I am not on a press tour or doing a red carpet, I lead the most regular life ever. I have done a really good job of keeping myself out of the spotlight and that’s the reason why I can relate to Peter Parker.
Like him, when I used to go to school, I didn’t want to be there and would rather play with my mates than attend a class or submit a homework I was supposed to.
Talking of homework, is Spiderman ever late at submitting his homework, and if yes, then what’s the excuse?
Oh yes, he is always late submitting his homework because he is too busy fighting crime. I don’t know what his excuses would be though because, in the beginning, he blames the internship at Stark Industries. Unfortunately, now that Tony Stark is dead, he will have to think of more excuses.
Were you a fan of comic books when you were growing up and did that help you bring something extra to the character?
I was never a fan of comic books because my parents never let me read them!
I knew about the character and had watched all the films and cartoons but not comic books. When I started auditioning I read all the comics and trust me, I was angry at my parents for not introducing me to them as a kid. I loved reading comic books which is a big thing as I am not really fond of reading.
I think that if I had grown up reading comics, I would have been a different person. Comics are such a wonderful way of making you come up with new creative ideas for films.
And when will we be seeing Spider-Man swinging in the streets of Pakistan?
Maybe one day soon. We will have to wait and see because I really don’t know when. I would love to, as it will be a lot of fun, I am sure.
Published in Dawn, Young World, June 29th, 2019