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Tom Holland recounts the "bizarre" way he found out he nabbed the web-slinger role to Daniel Kaluuya for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series

By Jen Juneau
January 20, 2021 12:03 PM
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Tom Holland reacted to landing a role in a superhero film franchise the way many of us would (and, fittingly, how the lovable-yet-awkward Peter Parker might): by accidentally destroying his own property.

In a recent conversation with his Marvel Cinematic Universe costar Daniel Kaluuya for Variety's "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors" series, Holland, 24, recalled being sent into a tizzy due to the "bizarre" way he found out he'd gotten the role of Spider-Man.

"I got my computer, and my dog was sitting next to me," he said. "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.' "

As a result of seeing the news, "I broke my computer, because I flipped it up in the air," Holland admitted. "It fell off my bed; my dog went nuts."

The actor noted that learning he got the role "was right about the time when Sony had got hacked," which drew some skepticism from his "tech-savvy" younger brother, Harry.

"[Harry] was like, 'No. There's no way that's real. They would have called you. They've been hacked,' " Holland recounted. "And then the studio called me and gave me the news. It was so bizarre how it happened."

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Holland also told Kaluuya, 31, that the seven-month audition process was "horrible," and full of many non-answers.

"I must've done six auditions, and they don't tell you anything. You're waiting and waiting, and then, eventually, I got a screen test in Atlanta," he explained, going on to say that he and six other hopefuls auditioned at that point with Robert Downey Jr., who plays Tony Stark/Iron Man in the MCU.

Luckily, it was "the best audition [he'd] ever done," Holland said, with himself and Downey, 55, "riffing off each other" throughout despite Holland initially being told that he was expected to stick to the script.

But even so, the radio silence that followed didn't give Holland much hope. "Six weeks go by and I didn't hear anything, so I predicted that I didn't get it. And there were all these polls online, and I was definitely not the favorite to get the part from the public," he said.

"Then they called us back, and we had to do a fight with Chris Evans [Steve Rogers/Captain America]," Holland shared. "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 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."

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Variety's "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors" series cover

RELATED VIDEO: Watch Tom Holland React to Chris Hemsworth's Viral Avengers Video: Who's the Kid Now?

Holland was first introduced to the MCU via a small part in 2016 Captain America: Civil War ("Which was, like, a week's work," he said of filming).

But despite his long-awaited, web-slinging debut, he was still "convinced for about a year that they were going to fire" him, because he "didn't hear anything from anyone" between the time of filming Civil War and starting production on Spider-Man: Homecoming.

"I don't know why. I can't really explain it — it was awful," Holland said of not knowing what was next. "But they didn't [fire me], obviously. It's been crazy ... it's been the most wild roller coaster, but I've loved it. I've loved every minute of it. It's been amazing."

The Cherry star is currently back in Atlanta filming Spider-Man 3 — on one of the same stages where he had his audition years ago, which is bringing back memories.

"Every time I walk in, I'm like, 'Oh God, I don't know my lines. I'm going to ruin my audition,' " Holland said. "And then I remind myself that I've already got the job."