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Home Spider-Man: No Way Home Tom Holland on MCU Audition and Meeting Robert Downey Jr.

Tom Holland on MCU Audition and Meeting Robert Downey Jr.

Preston Pettit Custom Images by Preston Pettit

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Tom Holland has quickly established himself as one of Hollywood’s biggest young talents. Outside of his role in the MCU as Spider-Man he has starred in several high profile movies. He will be returning to the MCU for his third instalment in the Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

In an extensive interview with GQ magazine, Tom Holland spoke about his audition for the role of Peter Parker in front of the Russo Brothers, and also Robert Downey Jr.

I mean, it would be strange if I hadn’t been nervous. Thankfully, weirdly, something happened that loosened the pressure valve on my anxiety that day. I saw Ant and Joe and then I saw Downey standing there in the casting room. I went over. I introduced myself. But I remember thinking, ‘That’s a bit odd. He doesn’t look like I’d imagined him or remembered.

Holland quickly realized his mistake when the real Robert Downey Jr. walked into the room.

Still, I shook his hand, telling him, ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you,’ saying how excited I was at the opportunity, how much it means to me…” And then? “Well, then a door opens and in walks the actual Robert Downey Jr. I’d been chatting up his stunt double the entire time. So, actually, I got my jittery, loser vibe out of the way. And then, when I actually met Downey, I was a little more cool and collected.

When asked if, and what advice Robert Downey Jr gave him on that fateful day Holland replied with the following:

He took me to one side and said, ‘I remember the feeling. I’ve been through this before and it is incredibly stressful. Enjoy the process and let your body take over.

WHICH IS ADVICE THAT I STILL USE. I WAS DOING A NEW SPIDER-MAN SCENE JUST THE OTHER DAY AND I HAD TO EAT A BOWL OF CEREAL. AND I JUST COULDN’T EAT A BOWL OF CEREAL LIKE A NORMAL PERSON — I WAS TOO IN MY HEAD. AND THE DIRECTOR, JON [WATTS], GOES, ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING?’ AND I WAS LIKE, ‘SORRY, I’M LEADING WITH MY HEAD AND I NEED TO LEAD WITH MY BODY.’ SO IT WAS GOOD ADVICE. AND I THINK THAT’S THE PIECE OF ADVICE THAT GOT ME THE SPIDER-MAN JOB ULTIMATELY.

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Robert Downey Jr was also at hand during the interview to answer a few questions on his first impressions of the budding actor.

He had a lot of hair… I remember thinking, ‘What’s with the hair, dude?

He also spoke about how he changed a few lines for the audition to test Tom Holland’s improvisation skills.

Yeah, I may have done that. I did that…And the kid handled it. He was seasoned, good presence. I could tell he had good kung fu; he could roll with the punches and keep it more than interesting. Remember, I’d been testing with a bunch of kids that day. They shall remain unnamed, but they all did well and any one of them would have brought something else to the part of Spider-Man.

Robert Downey Jr also opened up over what made the studio take the decision to eventually give the life changing role to Holland.

Gravitas. Gravitas and the confidence to be able to take on the mantle:

LOOK, BECOMING SPIDER-MAN IS A LOT…SO WHY DOES TOM HOLLAND GET TO BE SPIDER-MAN? THAT CHARACTER IS THE GOLD STANDARD IN THE MCU. IRON MAN? WHATEVER. WHEN I BECAME IRON MAN FEW HAD EVEN HEARD OF THE CHARACTER, ERGO LESS PRESSURE. BUT SPIDER-MAN? EVERYONE KNOWS SPIDER-MAN. ANDREW GARFIELD DID A GOOD JOB. TOBEY MAGUIRE DID A GOOD JOB. SO I ASK YOU AGAIN: WHY DOES TOM HOLLAND GET TO BE NUMBER THREE?

TO BE ABLE TO WEATHER THE TRIAL BY FIRE THAT RAINS DOWN ON SOMEONE WHEN TAKING ON SUCH A THING. MARVEL FANS ARE WONDERFULLY YET TERRIFYINGLY COMMITTED. THEY ABSORB ALL OF YOU. THEY EXPECT TO. BECOMING SPIDER-MAN IS A BIT LIKE GOING DOWN A K-HOLE: IT’S EASY TO GET LOST IN THERE. ADD IN THE FACT THAT YOU ARE WORKED RELENTLESSLY. IT’S CRAZY. BUT TOM CAN HANDLE IT. I COULD TELL. HE’S A BEEKEEPER.

ME, TOM, THE MARVEL GUYS, WE’RE BEEKEEPERS. IT’S NOT SEXY. IT’S HOT UNDER THOSE DAMN SUITS. YOU CAN’T SEE US. WE’RE SWEATING TO MAKE THE SWEET, SWEET SYRUPY NECTAR TO BE CONSUMED FOR OUR LEADERS. WE’RE ALL BEEKEEPERS. OVERPAID BEEKEEPERS.

THE GREAT THING ABOUT TOM IS HE HAS THAT CHAPLIN-ESQUE THING. HE’S AN HONOURABLE COCKNEY. DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE TERMS ‘COCKNEY’ COMES FROM? MIDDLE ENGLISH ‘COKEN-EY’, OR A ‘COCK’S EGG’ — A SMALL, UNSHAPEN EGG. TOM’S DIFFERENT. HE’S GOT MOXIE. HE’S NEEDED IT. I CAN RELATE TO THAT. AND I’M SO GLAD HE GOT THIS RADICALLY DIFFERENT NOTE IN WITH CHERRY WITH THE RUSSOS IN THE INTERIM. HE’S FULL CIRCLE.

Some high praise from RDJ for the young English actor indeed. After the recent news that Holland’s current MCU contract will expire after the next movie, fans will hope that Marvel and Sony have plans to keep not only the character in the MCU but also Tom Holland in the role.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is due to arrive in theatres December 17th 2021.

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Mike Doyle
Mike Doylehttps://mcu-initiative.com
Just a guy who's into the MCU. Been watching the movies from the beginning and recently getting into the T.V Shows. Also I'm a complete geek 🤪

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