He is the new king of swing. Tom Holland — aka Spider-Man — is pretty down-to-earth. In fact, he’s a sweet, humble 23-year-old Brit who frequently geeks out over the normal stuff.
“Have you ever seen fan art? Fans draw the coolest things. I’m sent amazing things and some of it is seriously great. I get jealous because I can’t draw at all,” he says in a rush. The guy’s true superpower: A joy that’s infectious.
Embracing his fame? That’s an understatement.
“It’s been a good time,” he said of his life as a superhero. “Anytime anyone asks me for a picture, I just take one with them. It’s a super easy process and you just want to give the fans a little joy.” Another thrill is the upcoming “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” where Peter Parker/Spider-Man must travel overseas where he steps up to — what else — save the world?
Review-Journal: What is a perfect Sunday for you?
Tom Holland: Let’s say I’m in Hawaii, which is great. Then I’m at the beach all day long or playing golf by the beach and watching the sunset. You can’t get me off the beach. But just as good is being at home with my girl, my angel Tess. I miss her so much when I’m not home. I FaceTime her. (For the record, his girl is his pit bull.)
It’s not a spoiler by now to say fans were devastated when you died in “Avengers: Infinity War,” which came out in 2018.
It came as a shock to me when we were filming that movie. I was taken aside before we filmed those scenes and told, “You’re dying today.” I was really pained when I said, ‘I don’t want to go.’ Now, that line I say when I’m turning into dust will haunt me forever. It’s my, ‘I’ll be back.’ ”
You say …
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good. I don’t want to go.” … On my grave they’ll probably write, “He didn’t want to go.” A major Spider-Man fan even had those words tattooed onto her shoulder. And just about everywhere I go now, fans say, ‘Please say the line. Please.’ And I will say with great passion, ‘I don’t want to go.’ ”
You have that joyous spirit of Peter Parker.
Peter Parker is just a young, happy-go-lucky, innocent kid at his core. I feel like I’m pretty much the same at heart. Of course, he’s always dealing with a lot of heavy things, but he retains a childlike wonder, which I think is so important.
On to the new film, but no spoilers. You have leaked a few secrets in your day.
Yeah, I might have maybe, accidentally, revealed the title of this movie before I was supposed to reveal it. I don’t want to contribute to any Spidey spoilers. I can say that this new movie is big. There’s a lot at stake. Spider-Man must really look deep.
What’s the best part of playing Spider-Man?
Spider-Man is someone I can really look up to because he tries to do the right thing. He just keeps going. You can’t tell him no.
What’s baffling about him?
The only thing I can’t understand about him is this: If I found out that I had super powers, I’d tell the world immediately. I’d tell everyone. Don’t get me wrong. The fact that he keeps it a secret to keep people around him safe does feel good on a certain level. It’s good that he’s protective of his friends. He does right with his powers and helps people, which is amazing.
As a Brit, how do you find the perfect Queens, New York, accent for Peter Parker?
I have a dialect coach to find his voice. For me, that’s one of the most important parts. It’s the first step in convincing an audience that I’m from Queens. I talk like Peter a lot during filming because I need to stay in Queens in my mind.
How much of the films is you in the suit?
If there are no big stunts then it’s always me in the suit. I can do the back, front and side flips. Of course, some of the stunts are just too dangerous, so I have doubles and stuntmen. But the amazing thing with CGI (computer-generated imagery) is it’s a lot of motion-capture work. All the CGI stuff has been taken from my movement and put into the film.
What has been your most dangerous stunt?
I nearly drown in every movie I’m in. I’m actually so good at drowning that people ask if I have almost drowned for real. I think I’ve acted like a drowning man about six times now, which is not a great skill — but one that I have in life.
Is it true that you watched “Back to the Future” to prepare to play Spidey?
When I started doing research for Spider-Man, the “Homecoming” the director (Jon Watts) gave me 10 DVDs to watch to get the vibe he was trying to emulate. The one that I loved the most was the first “Back to the Future.” That’s the vibe we tried to do with Peter Parker.
Do you remember your first day ever as Spider-Man?
I remember walking out onto the set for a big fight scene with all of the Avengers. I was really, really nervous. I watched Anthony Mackie do his thing and then he shouted, “Just cut the check!” I thought, “What does that mean?” I was only 19. Later, I found out he says that when he really nails a scene.
Did the other Avengers treat you like the new guy at school?
I didn’t feel left out at all. The whole Marvel family from the actors to the crew were so welcoming. It’s the kind of set where you’re always laughing even though the last film, “Endgame,” was so incredibly emotional. Between the big, serious scenes we were still laughing.
It sounds like superhero-dom is a great time.
I could do it every single day.
How are you dealing with fame?
Life has been pretty crazy since taking on the role. I mean, it’s crazy just about every day.
Everywhere, I hear, “I love you Tom.” Not a bad thing to hear. Then I’ll hear, “Say that line,” and I do it because it makes me happy to make them happy.
And when you have to leave the fans you can always say …
I don’t want to go!