Spider-Man star Tom Holland says he has much to thank Robert Downey Jr. for, both in terms of professional mentorship and cool style.
Tom Holland, Spider-Man of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, revealed that when it comes to fashion and flair, he prefers to look up to a fellow Avenger.
“He’s a very stylish man, so stealing his style is not the worst thing in the world,” Holland told AP when asked about Robert Downey Jr. during the London photocall for Spider-Man: No Way Home. “The glasses, the suit, the hair, the whole thing. Listen, I love him to bits, he’s a lovely guy, he’s been a great role model for over the last few years. So yeah… Definitely stealing his style. Shamelessly.”
Holland, who has become known for his stylish vibe akin to Downey’s during both red carpet premieres and magazine shoots, has much in common with his older co-star. In a recent interview, Avengers: Endgame director Joe Russo said that Holland was swiftly following in Downey’s footsteps and becoming a cornerstone of the Marvel universe.
“Tom is stepping into the role that Robert Downey once occupied for Marvel, which is the favorite character, and in a lot of ways the soul of the Marvel universe,” Russo said, pointing out that Holland also possessed all of the natural qualities needed to portray Spider-Man. “…He had a vulnerability and a wit, and an immense likability that felt to me like Peter Parker from the comics.”
Downey himself admitted to testing Holland by switching lines during the pair’s first casting session together in Captain America: Civil War, pointing out that Holland handled the challenge like a pro. “He was seasoned, good presence,” the actor recalled. “I could tell he had good kung fu; he could roll with the punches and keep it more than interesting. Remember, I’d been testing with a bunch of kids that day. They shall remain unnamed, but they all did well and any one of them would have brought something else to the part of Spider-Man. But why Holland? That’s your question, right? Gravitas. Gravitas and the confidence to be able to take on the mantle.”
Just as Tony Stark served as a mentor to the MCU’s Peter Parker, Downey would go on to give Holland advice off-screen, particularly on how to live in the moment when performing a scene and avoid becoming overwhelmed. The duo acted in four films together until Downey exited the franchise with Iron Man’s death in Avengers: Endgame.
“He took me to one side and said, ‘I remember the feeling. I’ve been through this before and it is incredibly stressful. Enjoy the process and let your body take over,'” Holland said in a recent interview. “Which is advice that I still use.”
Spider-Man: No Way Home, Holland’s latest foray as the red-and-blue web-slinger, releases in theaters on Dec. 17.
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