PETER PARKER returns home to stay with his aunt after enjoying his experience with the Avengers. All he wants to do is blend into his neighbourhood and lead a normal life, but when evil Vulture arrives upon the scene, he is forced into action. Spider-Man: Homecoming is the 16th instalment of the Marvel comic and it stays pretty much close to the vest. Tom Holland plays Peter Parker and the film is entertaining and fresh and is having a superb box-office run.
We meet with Tom at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, where he is busy promoting the film. He’s young and fresh and personable.
There’s Superman, there’s Batman and Iron Man. So what makes Spider Man so unique?
The main difference for me is that I’m younger than all of them. It’s a movie about a 15-year-old boy and that is different from anything you have seen before because it makes him very relatable—everyone goes to high school, everyone struggles talking to girls. I know that I did. So the thing that makes it different is that he is relatable.
Spider Man has its fan following and now the burden is upon you. How do fans react when they see you?
It’s definitely an interesting side of it. It’s crazy, but it is something that I had definitely anticipated. To be honest, it is a bit crazier than I had imagined, but I really am enjoying myself. I’ve been travelling the world and having the chance to meet my fans—that has been a bit crazy but fun at the same time.
You are 21 years old and you’ve already achieved fame and fortune. How do you stay grounded?
I keep my friends and family close; they bring me down very, very easily. I don’t think that I am affected by it because my life has changed, but my private life hasn’t changed, I still live the same life as I did when I was a kid.
You mentioned earlier that in school you felt awkward talking to girls. Are you better at it now?
I’m definitely still awkward and I don’t have the time to talk to girls right now, I’ve just been focused on doing my job. I was always the little kid in my class, I was the smallest and when you are 16, you find out that girls want to go out with the rugby players and not the little ballet dancer. I’ve gotten a little better now that I have Spider Man on my side, but I’m definitely no smooth talker.
What would define the ideal woman for you?
She should be easy to talk to, light- hearted, and my mom has to like her—that’s the big one. She’s got to pass my mom’s test and I don’t even know what she looks for. I mean mom is a tough cookie, but yeah, that’s about it really.
What role does your mom play in your life?
My mom is an amazing lady. None of my brothers or myself or my dad would have done anything without her, she is the rock of our family. At the same time, my mom is a badass—she has four boys and we’ve never won an argument against her. My mom took me to my first ballet class, she took me to my last dance class. Yeah, she’s amazing.
Growing up as a ballet dancer, music must have been a very important part of your life. Can you relate music to your acting?
Something I learned from Juan Antonio Bayona through The Impossible is that music is a way of focusing your energy by blocking everything else out. A film set is a very busy place, there’s a lot going on all the time. So, for example, if I have a scene where I have to cry, I have a selection of songs on my phone which is under the word ‘cry’, songs that put me in the right mood, that give me the right tone of what I need to do. It’s like teeing up for a golf ball—the music tees it up and then I hit it.