Tom Holland Went Undercover To Prepare For Spider-Man Homecoming


Tom Holland had to do something very interesting to get ready for his next outing as Spider-Man.

Last spring, actor Tom Holland charmed audiences when he made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. Now, many believe him to be the best on-screen version of the web-slinger that we’ve had.

However, Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts still wanted the young actor to complete a specific task to get ready for the movie. Holland spoke with Screen Rant and explained that Watts had him go undercover at a high school in the Bronx to prep:

"“It’s funny, Marvel actually sent me to a school in the Bronx, where I had a fake name and I put on an accent, and I went for like three days. I basically had to go to this science school and blend in with all the kids, and some of the teachers didn’t even know. It was a science school, and I am in no way a science student. Some of the teachers would call me up in front of the class and try to get me to do science equations and stuff – it was so embarrassing. But it was actually really informative because schools in London are so different. I would go to school every day in a suit and tie, with just boys. To be in a school where you can be free and let loose, and be with girls, it was so different. Like SO different. But yeah, it was a really great experience.”"

Holland also revealed his surprise at the fact that no one at the school ever recognized him:

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"“Nobody knew. I actually have videos on my phone of me interviewing people, and asking them what they thought of the new Spider-Man in Civil War. They were like, Oh he’s great, I love him, and then some people were like, Nah, I don’t love him, he’s not great – and I was standing right in front of them! [laughter] But yeah, no, it was fun. It was really fun.”"

It’s good to know that Holland’s experience was beneficial. Jon Watts, who also spoke with Screen Rant, talked about the importance of Holland experiencing an American high school atmosphere:

"“Oh yeah, I made him go to school, because he’d never been to a normal school not even in England. So, I sent him to a math and science high school, because that’s the kind of school that Peter Parker would go to like, a public, magnet school you have to test into. So, I made him go and he was so blown away by how hard the kids worked and how smart everyone was. The thing he remarked on which I thought was a great takeaway was that everyone was exhausted, and that’s what I remember from high school. I remember being so tired. You’re waking up so early and working so hard and then doing so much homework and any extracurricular activities and you’re just exhausted all the time. So, we made sure to keep some of that spirit alive just writing about being so tired. Like you’ve just woken up…”"

Next: The Second Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer Arrives

Having an actor go undercover can be very risky, but can also have huge gains if successful. Holland’s experience and Watts’ understanding of the high school experience should help the movie’s setting feel authentic.

The film will take Peter Parker back to high school as a sophomore. Both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s incarnations of the character started in high school, but neither stuck around for very long.

Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.