Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei
Sony, Disney and Marvel Studios teamed up to bring a new iteration of Spider-Man and integrate him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland stars as a younger version of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Parker returns home to live in New York with Aunt May, played by Marisa Tomei. While navigating his newfound identity as Spider-Man, he continues his normal daily routine in high school. Risen caught up with Holland and Tomei to talk superheroes, influence and family.
Interviewed for Risen Magazine in New York City
Risen Magazine: Tom, how did your background in dance and gymnastics help with the physicality of becoming Spider-Man?
Tom Holland: An actors weapon is their face and as soon as you take that away you have to act through physicality. So the fact that I am able to move in certain ways was a huge help to portraying this character behind the mask. The stunts, to me, were the best part of making this movie. Just coming up with new ways to do things and new ways to see Spider-Man do things. There was no limit.
RM: The first time you read with Robert Downey Jr. or Chris Evans, and getting to be in the Captain America movie, what was that moment like for you?
TH: I had such an amazing time meeting them and working with them – it was so exciting. All of my friends who had ever been to a Marvel audition, or been in a Marvel movie, said, “Marvel likes you to be word for word perfect, you say the lines as they are written.” And I’m an actor who doesn’t do that. I like to improvise, I like to make the lines my own. But for the first time in my career I learned the lines perfectly and I sat down with Robert to do the scene, he started and he changed his line completely. [Laughter] I thought, “Right. So maybe I am allowed to improvise?” And all we did for five minutes was improvise about Pepper.
RM: Iron Man becomes a father-figure to Spider-Man because he has been through similar challenges. In real life how has your dad influenced your career?
TH: I’ve been so lucky to have my dad because he’s been in this industry for 35 years and he knows the ins-and-outs. My dad is a stand-up comedian so it has been so valuable to have someone on my side, who I know is on my side, but who is in the industry at the same time.
RM: Relatives can have a huge influence on us as we see with Aunt May and Peter Parker. You’ve talked about your grandparents growing up so how did they help shape you?
Marisa Tomei: My grandparents and of course all my aunts and uncles. My aunts were particularly on my mind during this [film] and just feeling so lucky that my family is so tight. So it’s great to have your mom, which is amazing, and then get to talk about different things and different ways of being a woman with different points of view from the other women in your life.
RM: What do you think is the reason so many people love superheroes?
MT: It’s not just what we are – our skin, our faces, our bones – it’s the other realms that we can’t see that we are always curious about. How far can we go? What is our own personal potential?
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