Tom Holland’s ‘Spider-Man’ Audition Tapes

November 7, 2017

English actor Tom Holland starred as a 15-year-old Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man who’s motivated to become an Avenger in Spider-Man: Homecoming. In this video, portions of Holland’s audition tapes give us a glimpse of the hard work and persistence that went into landing the part of Spider-Man living in the Marvel Universe.

“I didn’t know I was auditioning for Spider-Man for the longest time,” Holland said. With nothing specific to research, he’d read the lines that Marvel would give him from various movie scenes. But when he received lines attributed to Spider-Man during his third audition, Holland felt certain he was auditioning for the role of the iconic web-slinger. This was a dream come true as Holland had pretended to be Spider-Man since he was a kindergartener sleeping in Spider-Man pajamas on Spider-Man sheets! Each time he auditioned, they’d tell him he’d be notified within a day if he got the part–but each time, he’d never hear back.

In time, as the casting options narrowed, Holland fought hard for the part by demonstrating impressive gymnastic feats with ease. Indeed, from the age of 11 to 13, Holland had portrayed the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical in London–a role that required two years of proper dance and gymnastic training. And even after playing Billy, he continued to build on his gymnastic prowess. Now auditioning for Spider-Man, it was time to display all the backflips and mid-air body twists he’d worked on for years.

At the age of 21, Holland revealed, “Auditioning for this movie was incredibly pressurizing because I wasn’t just auditioning in front of the producers, I was auditioning in front of the whole world.” Indeed, images of the select actors who were up for consideration were posted on Instagram for fans to contemplate. Among Holland’s competition was Hugo star, Asa Butterfield; soon, the two were neck-in-neck. One day, Holland saw a message on Marvel’s Instagram directing people to visit the movie’s website to see who was finally chosen to be the next Spider-Man. And so Holland found out he landed the part along with the rest of the world via the internet. Ultimately, it took eight auditions over five-and-a-half months to land the part.

“When I got the job, I was like, ‘Oh, thank God! I got the job!’ But then I was like, ‘Oh no, wait a minute. Now I’ve got to actually do it.’ Then like the real pressure came,” Holland shared. Fortunately, he thrives on pressure and was eager to get to the task of creating the young superhero. But frustration set in when he wasn’t being given any information about the movie. “I’d send them emails saying, ‘Hey guys, what’s the movie about?’ They’re like, ‘We can’t tell you that.’” With no script to dissect, he researched details about the character with old-school Spider-Man comic books. And soon enough, Holland was flipping around and swinging from wires in front of green screens.

The actor said, “The big question of the movie is: What would happen if a 15 year old got superpowers? And my answer is that he would have the time of his life! And when you watch this movie, you really get to see me have the time of my life because making this movie was the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Holland is scheduled to reprise the role of Spider-Man in three upcoming movies: Avengers: Infinity War to be released in May 2018, as well as its untitled sequel in 2019, and the sequel to Homecoming has a release date in July 2019.