TOM Holland, the movie world’s latest Spider-Man, has a surprising confession: he hates spiders.
“I don’t like spiders, man, just because they are sneaky — they just really scare me,” he says. “They are hairy — ugh. The more I get asked this question, the more scared I get of spiders so I think I am going to try to convince myself that I am not afraid of spiders.”
And part of the 20-year-old UK actor’s fear of arachnids comes from Down Under.
“My dad’s friend lives in Australia and he says that there is a type of spider that goes into people’s cars and hides in the sun visor. Is it a huntsman spider — is that what’s that called?
“And then when you open it up while you are driving — oh my God, that would literally scare the living daylights out of me. I’d be so terrified.”
But Holland, the star of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which opens on July 7, says he won’t let his fear of creepy crawlies stop him from coming to Australia, despite our having some of the most poisonous in the world.
“Absolutely not,” he says. “We were supposed to come to Australia on this trip but unfortunately there was a scheduling issue and we couldn’t make it. I was absolutely gutted — Australia is in first place on my list of places to visit.”
Holland’s turn as the comic book webslinger will be the third version in ten years, following on from Tobey Maguire’s three films and Andrew Garfield’s two. But this time, Spider-Man has been integrated into the hugely successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Holland making his debut as a cameo in Captain America: Civil War, last year’s highest grossing film.
In fact it was another Aussie connection and Marvel superhero who helped him land the part. After starring together in the seafaring drama In the Heart Of the Sea, Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, recommended Holland to MCU supremo Kevin Feige.
“I remember emailing him and being like ‘hey man, what’s up? Just so you know, I’m auditioning for Spider-Man and I thought it would be really cool if you could put in a good word for me’. And he emailed back saying ‘yeah, I’ll let Kevin know that you are always late and you never know your lines’. So thanks, Chris,” Holland jokes.
In fact, Hemsworth’s message was very different and the pair will now appear together in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War, as part of Holland’s six-movie deal to play Spider-Man.
“He actually sent Kevin a very lovely email about me and my work ethic and who I am as a person and it was a huge help for me and I am very grateful that Chris did that.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on July 6.
Originally published as Spider-Man’s fear of Aussie arachnids