Tom Holland has already played Spider-Man the same number of times as Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield combined despite making his live-action debut as the web-slinging superhero less than five years ago when Captain America: Civil War was released. For a lot of people, then, he’s now their favorite interpretation of the character, and based on the fact that he’s still only 24 years old, he’ll surely reach double digits when it comes to outings under the spandex.
However, the long wait from doing the final audition to being confirmed as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spidey must have been agonizing after spending months on tenterhooks to hear back about a potentially life-changing gig, especially when it’s become the stuff of legend that Holland didn’t find out via a phone call from Kevin Feige, but stumbled upon the studio’s announcement online instead.
In a recent interview, the star of Sony’s upcoming Uncharted and potential awards season contender Cherry revealed that he ended up destroying his computer by accident after getting caught up in all the excitement, which is completely understandable for someone who happily admits that he’s been a Spider-Man fan his whole life.
“There was me and six other kids, and Downey was there, so we all tested with Downey, which was crazy. It’s the best audition I’ve ever done, him and I were riffing off each other. My agents told me that Marvel likes you to learn the words exactly, you can’t improvise. And then, on the first take, Downey just completely changed the scene. We started riffing with each other, and I mean, to sound like a bit of a d*ck, I rang my mum afterward and was like, ‘I think I’ve got it’.
They flew us back to Atlanta, me and one other guy, and we did this scene, which was so surreal. By that point, it had been an amazing enough of an experience that if I hadn’t got the part, I would’ve felt like I’d at least achieved something to get to that point. I went out to play golf with my dad. I lost and I was upset, and I remember going on my phone and checking Instagram, and Marvel had posted a picture of Spider-Man, of the cartoon. And by this point, I kind of had assumed I hadn’t got it, because no one had called me.
I got my computer, and my dog was sitting next to me. I type in ‘Marvel.’ I’ve still got the article saved on my computer. It said, ‘We would like to introduce our new Spider-Man, Tom Holland.’ I broke my computer, because I flipped it up in the air. It fell off my bed, my dog went nuts. I ran downstairs. I was telling my family, ‘I got the part! I got the part!’. And obviously, that was right about the time when Sony had got hacked, so my brother, Harry, who’s quite tech savvy, was like, ‘No. There’s no way that’s real. They would have called you. They’ve been hacked’. And then the studio called me and gave me the news. It was so bizarre how it happened.”
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Based on the various reports making the rounds at the time, the other six actors that made it to the screen tests opposite Robert Downey Jr. in the last stage of the casting process appear to have been Asa Butterfield, Timothee Chalamet, Nat Wolff, Charlie Rowe, Matthew Lintz and Charlie Plummer. Several of those names have gone on to carve out solid careers in their own right, but it’s already difficult to imagine anyone else bringing the blend of youthful exuberance, innocence, charisma and physicality to the role of the MCU’s Spider-Man other than Tom Holland.