Tom Holland interview
Tom Holland interview
Our celebrity journalist Myra Ali chats to Tom Holland and his co-stars Zendaya and Jacob Batalon about their new film, Spider-Man: No Way Home, stardom and what they miss when they are away from home…
WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE!
With his talents spotted at a young age, Tom Holland has grown up in the spotlight, and he’s now a firm favourite in Hollywood playing one of the most iconic superheroes of all time.
He first donned the famous red suit for Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War in 2016 – his boy-next-door looks making him perfect as the unassuming Peter Parker who transforms in to the nimble almost balletic Spider-Man.
And it’s Tom’s skills as a dancer that have stood him in good stead for the physical role – indeed, Tom credits his dancing ability with his success in the films. “One of the best skills I’ve learned throughout my career is dancing. It’s been so instrumental to the success of the Spider-Man movies,” he tells me.
The star, who grew up in Kingston Upon Thames, started out dancing aged seven, taking a hip hop dance class at Nifty Feet in Wimbledon. He was later noticed by Billy Elliot talent scouts when the group appeared at Richmond Dance Festival, who thought he had potential to audition and so began his training in other forms of dance – he would head to his school gym at lunchtimes (he attended Donhead in Wimbledon) to practice ballet. He went on to Wimbledon College before going to Croydon’s famous BRIT School For Performing Arts.
Tom was just 12 when he hit the stage in the West End production of Billy Elliot. He first played ballet-loving Billy’s best friend Michael before taking on the lead role. It was recently revealed that Tom will play the legendary dancer Fred Astaire in a new biopic – so once again he will need to hone his dance skills. “It’s been a long time since I’ve done any sort of tap dancing. If I’m waiting for a train or a bus, I will start doing a little time step. So to go back to my roots as such, and to learn how to tap dance again will be very, very exciting,” he says.
Astaire is widely regarded as one of the best popular-music dancers of all time. But Tom is not fazed. “One of the best things about our jobs as actors is when you’re given a role that requires you to learn a new skill, it’s excellent, because sometimes it’s hard to do things off your own bat. But when you’re doing it for a job, whether it’s learning guitar or ballet or tap dance or gymnastics, you’re almost forced to focus on it a little bit more.”
Tom’s very close to his family, who live locally in Kingston. He has three brothers, his mother Nikki is a photographer and his father is comedian and author Dominic Holland – whose book Eclipsed is an endearing look at how his son’s success overtook his own. Tom, 25, misses his family dearly when he’s away from London filming – and he also misses golf!
“Of course, I miss my family. I love them all so much, but I also miss playing golf with my mates,” he laughs. “I have a really good group of mates and we all love hanging out with each other. For me, one of the only times I can really just be a normal bloke is on a golf course,” he says.
His career has spanned TV and the big screen. Tom’s early roles included the TV series Wolf Hall where he played Thomas Cromwell’s son and The Impossible, which centred on a family caught up in the Indian Ocean tsunami, and he has been busy ever since he started out as a young star.
He says that the pandemic made him slow down. “The one thing that I learned is that taking a break is as important as taking a good job. You know, ever since I got cast as Spider Man, I’ve kind of been non stop working, working working, which is a huge luxury, but when I stopped, when I was forced to stop by the government, I realised how tired I was and how much I really needed that break.”
He hints that he may even take a step away from acting. “I wanted to create a trilogy with Spider-Man that will be remembered forever and be something that will inspire young kids to be superheroes in their everyday life. And I hope that these films have done that. Going forward, I would like to spend the next five years of my life focusing on the future of my life rather than the future of my career, and maybe putting certain things ahead of work. That is the next chapter.”
He’s also looking back with a huge amount of perspective. “It’s interesting – things that you used to worry about a few years ago, you look back on and you’re like, why did I give that a second thought? And it’s the same with things that you really wanted, you look back and you think, ‘I got it and I put so much time into getting it, but it didn’t mean nearly as much to me as I thought.”
For now, fans can enjoy his latest instalment as Spider-Man on the big screen as well as a new film coming up in 2022. Uncharted is a prequel story of the popular video games, with Tom playing the lead role of Nathan Drake. Then there’s the Astaire biopic… After that, we will have to watch this space.