How Tom Holland Became Spider-Man and “F—ing Invaluable” to Captain America: Civil War

When Tom Holland was cast as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, some fans had been skeptical. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield had both done stellar performances as the web-slinging hero that it was hard to imagine seeing another actor portraying the fan-favorite Marvel hero. However, as James Gunn and several cast members of Civil War have pointed out, Holland was perfect as the young version of the wacky wall crawler.

It begs the question of what exactly made the 19-year-old British actor bag the role and what made the Civil War cast and crew love so much about him.

Apparently, aside from his acting chops, Holland won the hearts of the cast and crew of Civil War by literally flipping on set. He joined other Spider-Man hopefuls for screen tests along with Captain America actor Chris Evans, as well as Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr.

Evans recalled:

Kids came in and put on these really ridiculous Spider-Man pajamas. As the scene opens, [the script] says ‘Spider-Man flips in and lands.' And Tom was really like, ‘Should I do that?'

Director Anthony Russo added: "Because he can."

Holland was game in doing a handspring right at that moment, but then executives began to panic.

Evans said:

Marvel doesn't want to see this kid break his neck, so everyone from [the studio] was like, ‘Don't! Don't!' And Joe just started salivating, ‘Just do it!' And he did it – andstuckit!
Like… he bummed me out.

Joe Russo, who directed Civil War with his brother Anthony, added:

As important as it is to capture the essence of the character on an emotional level, there's an incredible physicality to these characters.
So to see a kid who is a gymnast, and you know you're going to be digitally mapping to his movements… to have somebody who can move that way, it's f—ing invaluable.

Of course, after the standout stunt, everyone was convinced he can do the role.

Joe said:

That's why everybody goes, ‘Well, yeah, we have to see that.'
If he can do that, that's a whole other asset that he's bringing, a whole other dimension that he's bringing to the part.

Anthony followed saying:

And it informs also the performance too because when you flip into a scene, you're out of breath and there's an energy to it where you're out of balance going into it. And it can change your whole performance. And the person you're playing opposite.

As for Downey, the actor became devoted to Holland that he personally coached him during production.

I've watched Civil War and I must say Holland has done a pretty good job being the young Peter Parker. I can't wait to see him in the Spider-Man solo film.

Captain America: Civil War is now in theaters.

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