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SYFY WIRE Tom Holland

Tom Holland talks Uncharted 'mistake' & meeting RDJ (after confusing him with stunt double)

By Vanessa Armstrong
Tom Holland & Robert Downey Jr.

Tom Holland is everywhere right now. Not only is the MCU’s Peter Parker finishing up production of Spider-Man: No Way Home in Atlanta, he’s also doing the interview circuit to promote his latest movie, Cherry, and has another movie, Chaos Walking, coming out on Mar. 5.  

One of his recent, longer interviews on said circuit was with British GQ. During that conversation, the actor opened up about his performances, including acting choices he made while shooting Uncharted that he’s not particularly proud of.  

“As soon as you start worrying about ‘Do I look good in this shot?’ acting becomes something other than playing a character,” Holland told GQ while talking about playing Nathan Drake in the movie adaptation of the popular video game. “I think there are elements of my performance in Uncharted where I kind of fell under that spell of being ‘I want to look good now. I want this to be my cool moment’…at times, it was less about land a mark and go through this scene and more about land a mark, stand like this and see my bulging was a mistake and is something that I will probably never do again.”

Holland admitted he hasn’t seen the final cut of Uncharted, so he has no idea of whether he succeeded in conveying his version of Nathan Drake as a tough, stoic guy. The performance he’s best known for, however, is the opposite of a dark, brooding, and grizzled character. That role, of course, his Holland’s breakout performance playing the MCU’s Peter Parker (also known as Spider-Man).

It turns out that his audition for that iconic role was a memorable one, not least of all because he finally got to meet Robert Downey Jr. “I saw Downey standing there in the casting room,” Holland said, recalling his Spider-Man audition. “I went over. I introduced myself. But I remember thinking, ‘That’s a bit odd. He doesn’t look like I’d imagined him or remembered.’ Still, I shook his hand, telling him, ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you,’ saying how excited I was at the opportunity, how much it means to me...then a door opens and in walks the actual Robert Downey Jr. I’d been chatting up his stunt double the entire time.”

Despite the mix up, RDJ and Holland ended up becoming friends, and the older actor has also given Holland acting advice he follows to this day, specifically to let his body take over and to not get too much into his head when performing. “I was doing a new Spider-Man scene just the other day and I had to eat a bowl of cereal. And I just couldn’t eat a bowl of cereal like a normal person – I was too in my head,” Holland shared. “And the director, Jon [Watts], goes, ‘What are you doing?’ And I was like, ‘Sorry, I’m leading with my head and I need to lead with my body.’ So it was good advice. And I think that’s the piece of advice that got me the Spider-Man job ultimately.”

Uncharted is currently scheduled to premiere Feb. 11, 2022, while Spider-Man: No Way Home is expected to come out in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021.