Acting is one of those things that is so incredibly difficult to pull off without looking silly and the use of facial expressions is a pivotal tool that performers use to help them look as natural as possible. So what happens when you take away their biggest tool by covering their face with a mask? Well, that’s the dilemma that Tom Holland had to solve when he was cast as Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Holland made a recent appearance on the Youtube channel First We Feast for the Season 16 finale of their series Hot Ones, and while he didn’t reveal any spoilers like he did to co-star Zendaya, he did reveal his acting technique for expressing emotion without the use of his face.
“As an actor you use expression with your face to covey emotion and when you take that away you have to figure out how to do it with your physicality…My secret weapon is that I will always pretend like my arms are dead so that when I move my arms kind of swing around so Peter Parker’s hands are always doing those crazy stuff and for me that has been a really good way of like making him feel youthful while also in moments of peril.”
It may sound ridiculous but anyone who has seen Holland’s performance in the Spider-Man films can attest to how authentic he is and the strength of this technique in expressing emotion. Even though there are many difficulties with acting without the use of your face there are also some positives. Holland joked about what his favorite thing about wearing a mask is.
“But it’s also sometimes a great thing. Like if I’ve gone out the night before and had a little bit too much to drink, if I’ve got a mask on, no one knows so it’s fine.”
We are sure a lot of people can relate to wanting to hide behind a mask when they have had to work after a big one the night before.
Despite the challenges of acting behind a mask, Tom Holland has found a way to overcome those difficulties and has even thrived. Those of you who want to check out Holland flailing his arms about can catch him in the upcoming Marvel film Spider-Man: No Way Home which is set to hit cinemas next week and where rumors have been circulating about the appearance of multiple Spider-Men.