Spider-Man: Far From Home will be Tom Holland's fifth time playing the webhead on the big screen. He's already broken surpassed previous Peter Parkers (Andrew Garfield got two outings in The Amazing Spider-Man series, and Tobey Maguire completed Sam Raimi's trilogy) with an introduction in Captain America: Civil War, his own solo movie and key part in two Avengers films, although don't expect him to slow down any time soon.
We learned just how much fun Holland had as Spidey, with a happiness to play the role many more times, when we sat down with the actor on the Far From Home set. Check it out below.
This one will be your fourth time playing Spider-Man. You will have played Spider-Man more than anyone else when this film comes out. How's that feel?
It feels pretty good. It's an amazing experience as an actor and such a privileged experience to get to play characters that you love so much, time and time again. I definitely have the mindset of, if you want to make 20 of these movies, then I'm down because it's really fun. It's been a real privilege and so much fun. Maybe even more fun this time around than the last one. It's been great.
How does it feel going from an Avengers movie, with a big budget, and a big huge cast to come back and do a movie with your own supporting characters?
That’s a good question. The Avengers movies feel so removed from what we were doing in Homecoming and Far From Home, especially. Our films are about people who are so grounded in reality. People who are very real. And then when you get into the world of the Avengers, that’s the complete opposite. You have characters from all over the galaxy mixing with each other, and it's a very different feel on set, because you have people who are blue and green, Iron Man and stuff. It's pretty crazy, but this is a bit more low key and feels a bit... I always described these movies as the biggest indie movies ever made. Because it does just feel like we're making a high school movie that happens in Europe.
What's Peter Parker's headspace like in this movie?
Um, love. He’s very much love-driven in this film. And taking a break. This film is all about him trying to take a break, but the responsibility of being Spider-Man always taking over. Which is quite funny because, in the first film, we were really keen to show Peter Parker enjoying his powers and really wanting to be Spider-Man. Now we have Peter Parker, who still loves the aspects of being Spider-Man, but just needs a break, just needs a holiday, like everyone does at times. And that's not possible when you’re a superhero and you have responsibilities to save lives. So it's an interesting balance of kind of watching your kid do his homework, that’s kind of how I’m describing it.
The first one had kind of a John Hughes vibe to it. Does that carry over to this movie or is it more of a spy thriller with bringing in Nick Fury and all those elements?
This one's kind of like if Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spectre had a baby. That's how I would describe this film. It has the sexy aspect of being in Europe. You have the spy mission on its own. But at the heart of it, it's still a very similar film to Spider-Man: Homecoming in the sense that it's really about Peter and his friends, and the lighthearted humor that they have, and what happens when a group of Americans go to Europe. You know, it's a pretty amazing experience. So it’s pretty similar, but it just has a new element to it, with super cool spy stuff.
How has it been with Jake Gyllenhaal working with him? Because it sounds like he really got into the role.
He's awesome, man. Jake and I got on really well. And it's interesting because when you heard the word Mysterio, you immediately think villain, and that's not the case in our film. He’s sort of a new addition to this world of heroes and sort of my teammates throughout the movie. And it's funny because Jake is such a great guy and we get on really well and it's been fun fighting these crazy monsters with him. Imagining stuff is quite difficult when you're doing it on your own, but when you're doing it with someone else, it's a lot easier. And also, every year, I have a phone call with my agents where I talk about the five actors I want to work with and the five directors I want to work with. And he's always on the list. So the fact that I get to work with him on this is pretty special.
What is the dynamic between Peter and Mysterio?
It's very much big brother/little brother. And Nick Fury is the head teacher who is constantly telling me off, because I don't want to really be there. I went to go on holiday. And Mysterio is always the one who is sort of sticking up for me, and patting me on the back and telling me I did a good job. Which is funny. There’s really funny moments in the film where I feel like I haven't done a good job. And Mysterio’s always the one who is like, "Good job, kid!" So yeah, it's fun. It's really, really cool ride so far.
I have no idea how you can answer this, but, like, has death affected Peter at all?
Next question. Yeah. Next question.
What's his relationship like now that Aunt May knows his secret, which is a big difference from the comics where he was always trying to hide this other life from her. That was a huge reveal at the end of the last movie.
Yeah, it's an interesting question. Obviously bigger things in the MCU have happened that we need to talk about. So when we find May the first time, she's kind of [pushing] Peter on. There’s a very funny line where she's talking about, "I hope you have taken down some crime family." So she’s kind of in on it. She kind of understands his power. She understands that he's safe, most of the time. When he’s being a friendly neighborhood, Spider-Man, little harm can come to him. But when he takes on bigger foes, I think she’s just as worried as she was in the first one.
When you're talking about bigger things happening… pretty big things have happened. I know you can't talk about how death might have changed him, but what kind of residual connections or changes or anything like that. In Iron Man 3, Tony had PTSD. Is there anything along those lines that we can expect?
That was just a fancier way of asking what he asked! Next question.
Honestly, how is it making this movie, when there is this big lingering question? How are you finding it now? And what are your concerns going into the next year, promoting this?
With regards to that… The reason I'm so strict on myself is because I know what everyone wants to know, right? And it is, it's so epic that I would be very upset with myself if I gave away some of the things that are to come. But for us, it's important to look at what's happened in the past, in the MCU, and to make sure that they're still relevant and still present throughout the film. So, lots of conversations had been had about throwing ideas back to what happens and stuff and, and uh, yeah... So it's still very much a present factor of this film. And it's something that will resonate.
How important was it to bring Jon Watts back and to collaborate with them again?
I mean he's… no one understands this character and these films better than he does, you know? And for me, it's so much easier the second time around, especially because he's here, because we both know what we need to do. We've done it before. And in the first film, we hadn't done it before, so we can stick together. In this film, we're [still] in the same boat. We know how the industry works. So we can stick together and help each other in ways we never knew we could on the first one, and it's just made the whole process a lot easier because I know going into a scene what Jon wants. So I don't need to wait for the first five takes for him to figure it out. I just know from doing it so often. And it's just made it a lot smoother process where... in the first film, we’d do 20 takes, now we just do 10, because we are on the same page. And I thought the first film was so unique compared to other superhero movies in a sense of how young it was, and how diverse the cast was, and it was a no brainer that the second film needed more of that. So who better to bring back than the guy who did it in the first place.
Your character is so movie savvy. Does he go around like saying like I'm in a James Bond movie, or any other kind of movie references like that?
That's kind of a Russo thing, that joke. The movie references stuff.
Can you comment on the new black costume and what that thing is capable of?
It's awesome. It's not actually capable of much. We sort of stripped Spider-Man back, and now it's just him relying on his powers. But it is his ability to act as Spider-Man without the world knowing that Spider-Man is there. It’s just an idea that he has to keep his identity from his friends. But it's awesome. It’s just really, really cool. I can go to the bathroom, which is a huge bonus. It looks super cool. It was so funny, we were doing this scene. My grandparents came to watch, and I’ve got the Stealth Suit on. And they're watching on the monitors and I jump out the window of this building we were filming in. And they actually had a big platform outside of the window that I could jump out the window and land on. I was trying to convince the crew that, after I jump out the window, everyone rush [to] the window and go, "No, wait, wait, wait!" to sort of scare my grandparents. But they wouldn’t do it, they thought it was too mean.
What would you say is Peter's main mission when he is in Spider-Man mode?
At the end of the day, it's always about saving people and doing the right thing. The world is at risk in this film. I feel like the Vulture was sort of low-level crime. It was sort of under the radar. Not many people know about it. But this is a worldwide event. So the stakes are much higher for him, and I think he understands that. Meaning, he has to really show up and bring his A-game. But at the heart of the film, Peter Parker just wants to tell the girl he really likes that he loves her, and have a nice holiday. And that all gets ruined when Brad gets in the way.
That relationship, in the first movie, it was only revealed at the end that she’s MJ. And so you had a very different working relationship with her in the first one. How has that changed?
It's been great. It's been really, really fun to film. Zendaya, Jacob and I have become this little trio on camera. It's just a great dynamic between the three of us. We all get on so well. The characters haven't really changed at all. So for us, it's a nice stepping off point to explore new things with the characters. And Zendaya is great. She brings so much new stuff to that character that we know and love so well. And I think audiences will really connect with what she’s doing.
One of my favorite scenes in the first movie, and it's a huge part of a superhero movie that required no superpowers, is the scene in the car with Michael Keaton. Is there anything in this film that is equivalent to that? Anything you read in the script but shot already where you're like, well, the suspense is high, no superpowers or anything…
There’s a scene in this film where audiences will feel like they were punched in the face. Even filming it, I remember walking out and then watching it again on the monitors and asking Jon, ‘Are you sure that's okay?’ And he's like, ‘No, it's not. People are going to hate this scene.’ But it really… God, it’s pretty crazy. And it's very similar in the way that it's very tense, and it sort of rips the rug from underneath your feet. It's pretty awesome.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019