Spider-Man Star Tom Holland Reveals Unique Acting Habit On Movie Sets

By Pierre Chanliau Posted:
Tom Holland Spider-Man Peter Parker

Tom Holland seemed to be going through an adjustment period when he returned to film for Spider-Man 3, such as his refusal to wear a wig, resulting in Peter Parker having shorter hair in the threequel

Additionally, in an interview last week, Holland actually had difficulty returning to the role of teenage Peter Parker after playing Nathan Drake in Uncharted for several months. Holland was “walking with a swagger and confidence” of a man instead of walking with the insecurity of the teenager he's meant to be in Marvel Studios & Sony Pictures' Spider-Man 3.


In an interview with Backstage, Tom Holland discussed his acting methods, including the unique way he moves his body on set:

“When it comes to something as simple as walking—I mean, Cherry has a very different walk than what I have...He’s very heavy on his feet and labored. Obviously, when you’re doing ballet, it’s the complete opposite. But by being able to do the complete opposite, you can mold yourself into these different people in an easier, more fluid way.”

The reason that Holland moves in such a way is due to his years as a practiced dancer and it being “one of the most valuable assets [he's] had in [his] career.”

It's actually why Holland does something out of the ordinary as an actor, which is watching “...almost every take back while... shooting." Holland admits that this habit, which the vast majority of performers don't engage in, is "something that scares directors quite a lot.”

Holland clarifies that it has nothing to do with the director but how he moves in a scene—his “physicality.”

“You sometimes find people going, ‘Why do you want to watch everything? Don’t you trust me?’ And it has nothing to do with my performance. It has everything to do with my physicality.”

The Spider-Man star does this when he's “figuring a character out” and has to watch these takes to make he's moving the way he's imagining.

“It is like a dancer: When you learn to do a dance, you do it in the mirror. And for me, when I’m on set and I’m figuring a character out, especially [in] the first few weeks, I have to watch it back, because I need to know that I’m doing what I think I’m doing in my head.”

Holland once again compared it to dance, saying that if he was performing a motion that looked “nothing like what I thought,” then he'd have to change it.

“If I was doing a dance, and then I looked at it and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that looks nothing like what I thought it looked like,’ I need to change it. It’s been a really valuable asset.”

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo, the veteran directing duo who've already helmed 4 Marvel pictures, said that this feedback method for Tom Holland was compatible with their own filming process.

“It suits our process very well, to be honest with you...We like to talk to people as filmmakers; we talk to our production designer as a filmmaker, to our actors as a filmmaker, to our producers as filmmakers. We like to talk about the totality of the film with all of our collaborators. And Tom is somebody who is very easy to engage on that level, because his brain goes there.”

Joe and Anthony Russo said that they “like to work” with Holland's “specific process” and praised its ability to allow the actor to innovate on the following take.

“He doesn’t silo himself in a very specific process or a specific craft; he understands the larger process of the movie we’re all making together. This specific thing, where he does like to review his performance and think about how he can innovate on it in a coming take, or in later scenes, is very much the way Joe and I like to work.”


It seems like Holland will be far more active in Marvel Studios' upcoming Spider-Man movie that seems to require his movements to be more precise. Not to mention the depth at which Holland explains how being a dancer has benefited him as an actor, especially when it comes to how he thinks about how he looks on camera when moving.

Considering how much Parker will have to be dealing with in the film, he'll be running around, likely defending his name and his life. If rumors of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield joining the cast end up being true, it will be interesting to see how they will portray the movement of each Spider-Man.

The untitled Spider-Man 3 is set to release later this year. 

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Pierre Chanliau
Pierre Chanliau began as a news & feature writer for The Direct at the site's launch in 2020. As a longtime reader of superhero comic books, Pierre's knowledge of Marvel and DC is extensive, informing his reporting and editorial pieces regarding the MCU and DCU.