Even without having seen one frame of Spider-Man: Homecoming, your anticipation of Tom Holland in the title role knows no bounds.
That is, of course, if you recall his delightful verbal sparring with Robert Downey Jr in last year’s Captain America sequel.
There’s also his powerhouse dramatic turn as Naomi Watts’ son in The Impossible (2012).
When he arrives for his Spider-Man interview he’s supremely confident, even prepared to joke about his size (he’s 1.72m) and not in the least fazed when standing next to his towering co-star Zendaya.
Talk about a young man in a hurry!
I first noticed Holland when he played Billy Elliot in the London musical. He was one of hundreds who auditioned for that role. Interestingly, Holland was actually offered another role initially.
“I didn’t get the lead; I was cast as Michael, Billy’s friend. But because I was so young and I needed some stage experience (so I took on the role).
“But eventually I went on as Billy and I ended up doing 176 shows,” the 21-year-old said.
Holland attributed the musical as a stepping stone to an amazing career path.
“I learned so much from being on stage and working with adults in a working environment,” he said. This, perhaps, explains Holland’s professionalism and versatility.
You’re super versatile, switching from singing and dancing to intense emotion and perfect comic timing. Where does it all come from?
Hard work I guess. I started working on stage in London when I was about 11. I’ve had some incredible opportunities.
I think the biggest thing for me was working with Naomi Watts. That was the first time that I really realised that acting was what I wanted to do and the career I had chosen.
How do you stay grounded?
I am constantly doing the dishes at home (laughs).
No, my family at home and my friends are very down to earth people. Obviously they were very excited when they found out that I got cast as Spider-Man, but they couldn’t really care less.
My family is incredibly supportive and they keep me grounded. I am constantly having to tidy my room, clean the kitchen, so nothing has really changed in my family life at all.
You still live with your family?
I live in London with my parents, which I am not going to lie to you, is killing me (laughs).
No, I love living at home, but I recently bought my first place, just a little apartment, very close to my home.
My mum found the place for me, and I am very excited to start a new chapter and move out finally.
What do you have in your room?
A lot of photos. I have my school photos, I have my old rugby shirts, and I have a few posters of films I like, and I have a Banksy. I don’t have a real one, I wish I did.
I have a big mirror because obviously I am so vain (laughs) but it’s a typical teenager’s room; my clothes are always on the floor, and my bed is never made. I haven’t made my bed since 2003!
Have you received any strange requests from girls?
People keep asking me to take them to the prom, which is a crazy thing, because when I was at school I was really scared about asking someone to prom, and now people are asking me.
I really would like to take somebody to prom one day. I think it would be really fun.
But the strangest one I had, was, “It’s not too far, I only live in Nebraska.” And I’m like, “yeah OK, I will fly to Nebraska for the day.”
Your father is a comedian so comedy is in your blood. How do you two get along?
My relationship with my dad is fantastic, apart from when we are on the golf course because I am always beating him, and he can’t stand that.
But one of the great things about dad being a comedian is that he has been in this industry for 25 years, so he knows exactly what to say, when to say it, and what not to say.
I am very lucky to have a dad in the industry because he has been through this before; he knows what to expect so I am very privileged, very lucky.
What makes a good dancer?
It doesn’t have anything to do with skill or talent, it’s just about having fun. No matter if you are good at it or bad at it, as long as you are enjoying it, the audience will enjoy it with you.
Was your dancing background instrumental in your getting the part of Spider-Man?
Dancing is always a great skill to have, because if you go out clubbing or you go to a party it’s just so good, especially when you can do a backflip. No matter what dance competition you are in, if you do a backflip, you are gold.
How will your Spider-Man be different?
Obviously it would be very difficult not be influenced by what Andrew (Garfield) and Tobey (Maguire) had done.
But it was very important for me to create a character we hadn’t seen before, and at the same time do justice to this beloved character.
People connect with Peter Parker not because he’s a superhero but because they can relate to every stereotypical moment in a teenage boy’s life, when he can’t talk to girls, or is late for school, or is pressured for exams.
In Captain America: Civil War when we were first introduced to your Spider-Man, he made his own costume. What has happened to that handmade costume?
He still has the old homemade costume. But then he is given the new suit by Tony just before the Civil War fight.
He’s beginning to think he’s not very good at being a superhero. So, the new suit is there to help him get better, but because it’s so complicated, he doesn’t know how to use it.
It’s almost like giving my grandmother my iPhone; she doesn’t quite really know what to do with it.
So, (in Homecoming) there’s a lot of funny scenes of him messing up because the suit is too clever and he is trying to override it and it doesn’t work.