“If I can bring happiness to people all around the world, then I will try my best to do so.”
Tom Holland was born on June 1, 1996, in the United Kingdom to a family that excelled in arts where his father is a comedian and an author while his mother is a photographer. Holland, who was cast in the role of Peter Parker at the age of nineteen and was technically the youngest Spider-Man ever, was a hip-hop dancer in school which led to him getting bullied he was also trained in gymnastics and made his debut in the musical Billy Elliot in West End which stirred his interest in the field of arts. In 2010, he was cast in the British dub of Studio Ghibli’s famous film Arrietty.
Holland, who went on to study at BRIT School for Performing Arts and technology in Croydon that boasts of famous alumni including Adele, Amy Winehouse and Jessie J, made his feature film debut in 2012 in J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible alongside the likes of Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. The film was a success and Holland’s performance as the 12-year-old son was taken into account. He later went on to star in How I Live Now alongside Saoirse Ronan and then with Tom Hardy in Locke. Holland’s life “was flipping upside down” after he signed a six-picture contract with Marvel Studios as the new Peter Parker, which was the foundation of his groundbreaking success. Holland was supposedly scrolling through Instagram a month after his audition when he saw that he had been cast as Spider-Man which made him go “ballistic- absolutely nuts”.
Holland said, “I was an ordinary student at school and, at the same time, an actor. But I was not the popular kid, which helped me to play Peter Parker better.” He had an interesting insight about his character where he explained why Spider-man is an absolute fan favourite. “Peter Parker is probably the most relatable superhero – maybe ever – because he goes through something that basically everyone has to go through”, he said, “Whether it’s puberty or talking to girls or doing homework, he does it in such a human way. That’s why he’s such a beloved character: because so many people can relate to him.”
Being the second-youngest recipient of the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2017, Holland continued showcasing his brilliant acting chops in various films before being cast in one of the most challenging and psychologically dark roles of his career in the Netflix original film The Devil All the Time alongside Robert Pattinson and more. He was quite sceptical of shedding his friendly neighbourhood boy image and getting under the skin of such a complex character. In the end, he was happy with his performance and garnered high praise. “I had to go places mentally that I didn’t know I could go to, or don’t think I ever want to go again,” he said, further adding, “It was an amazing process, and I’ve seen the film and I’m very proud of it. I’m really eager for people to see and enjoy it.”
Tom Holland will soon be seen in Spider-Man: No Way Home as well as in some other exciting projects, including Shane Carruth’s The Modern Ocean where he shall be starring alongside a stellar cast comprising Keanu Reeves, Daniel Radcliffe, Jeff Goldblum, Anne Hathway, Chloe Grace Moretz and others. Within a very short span of time, Holland has, via his incredible talent and perseverance, managed to propel his career in a positive and successful direction. The actor, who turns 25 today, has admitted that he plans on reprising roles in “some more franchises” and playing “some meatier indie roles” before finally transitioning “to the other side of the camera” to his one true love of directing. While Netflix does not have most of this talented actor’s films, there are two of his best works available for streaming.
After having his fair share of adventure with the Avengers, Tony Stark’s mentee Peter Parker – AKA Spider-Man – returns to the life of normalcy and quietude with his Aunt May. Stark watches him closely as Parker gradually comes to terms with his identity as Spider-Man. Parker wants to prove his worth and wants to show his mentor that he is much more than being a friendly neighbourhood superhero; this distracts him and makes settling in immensely difficult for him. Soon, the evil Vulture threatens to dismantle and disrupt the peace in his life and Parker must unleash his powers to prevent the Vulture from causing casualties and damages.
After Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s respective roles as Spider-Man, Tom Holland was under a lot of pressure as he had to bring in something new, quirky and different to make his version stand out from the rest. Although he was a favourite pick for the Russo brothers due to his proximity of age with the character, he derived inspiration from his predecessors yet added a sense of sweetness and charm to his character making the film being proclaimed as one of the most optimistic versions. While trying to blend in his character who was “dealing with everyday problems that a 15-year-old deal with as well as trying to save the city”. Holland adopted the alias name of his acting coach to enrol himself in The Bronx High School of Science. The students did not believe that he had been cast as Peter Parker and the experience was humbling and enriching for him as it helped him project the same energy in his character of Peter Parker whom nobody would suspect to be the Spider-Man.
“Wait a minute… You guys aren’t the real Avengers! I can tell. Hulk gives it away.”
Stretching from the end of the Second World War to the 1960s, serving as the backdrop, the film is set in rural parts of Ohio and West Virginia where a varied conglomeration of characters come together. A war veteran named Willard Russell is anguished by the terrors of the war. His wife is terminally ill with cancer and no matter how much he indulges in sacrificial blood, he cannot save her from the pain and agony. In a bizarre act of pouring spiders over his head, Roy Laferty tries to prove his devotion to God. Sandy and Carl Henderson are high on bloodlust and spill blood of hitchhikers who have sex with Sandy. Reverend Preston Teagarden is a sleazy and lecherous priest who rapes unsuspecting underage women and abandons a pregnant victim Lenora who ends up taking her life. Willard’s son, Arvil Russell, who is orphaned under unprecedented circumstances, grows up to be a good man but has his share of a violent streak.
The film questions divinity, religion and faith while exposing the effects of war on families ravaged by deaths, tragedies and murders. With a stellar cast, the film further elucidates on violence, faith, PTSD as well as the miserable existence of the survivor. Alongside brilliant performances from the cast, namely Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland as Arvin portrays the emotional conflicts of his character with effortless ease and conviction. The actor was very unsure of himself and was admittedly “nervous” and “scared coming on set for the first time” as he was not convinced whether he “had it in me to play this type of a character”. Holland nails the description of his character by simply stating that despite being “the glimmer of light in this film, in the sense that he’s always just trying to do the right thing. It just so happens that in this film, doing the right thing means killing people”, emphasising the film’s hidden message that everyone is a sinner.
“Nobody would know she wasn’t a suicide and that in the end, she was alright with her maker.”
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