Tom Holland Shouted Out Co-Stars Zendaya And Robert Downey Jr. For Their Honesty But Praised Benedict Cumberbatch For Dropping A Major Piece Of Acting Advice

Navigating the maze of early adulthood is challenging on its own and, when you throw in the complexities of being a major Hollywood star, it becomes a whole new ball game. Tom Holland, the loveable actor behind the iteration of Spider-Man in the MCU’s aptly-named Home trilogy, has a stroke of good fortune, because he’s found a few trustworthy figures to turn to for advice and straight talk. According to him, Zendaya and Robert Downey Jr. deserve a special nod for their honesty. Still, he major praise for Benedict Cumberbatch for dishing out a key piece of acting knowledge. 

The actor recently sate down for a conversation with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. During the chat, the Uncharted star peeled back the curtain on the transformative experiences of working alongside co-stars Zendaya, Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch. The interview, which was shared on the foundation’s official TikTok, provided a rare glimpse into the dynamics that have shaped the Devil All The Time performer’s growth as an actor. He also heaped particular praise onto Downey’s turn in one of the biggest blockbusters of the 2023 movie schedule. As he tells it:

Zendaya is probably the most honest with me, which I love, because you need that. Downey is very honest, sometimes a little too honest. … I really respect Downey’s opinion. He taught me so much, and I always sing his praises. I love the guy, I admire him. I don’t know if you guys have seen Oppenheimer yet, but he’s absolutely staggering in it. He steals the movie for me.

Tom Holland’s trajectory as a respected thespian isn’t relegated to only the Oppenheimer cast member and his longtime girlfriend and Marvel co-star. The interview took a fascinating turn when he delved into his interactions with the Sherlock actor, emphasizing his role as a go-to source for acting advice, which makes sense. Benedict Cumberbatch is so talented, and he’s one of the few actors who’ve played more than one character in the MCU. Holland explained that he sought out Cumberbatch’s wisdom when it came to one specific aspect of acting: 

Benedict Cumberbatch is someone that I ask for advice a lot about acting. I went through a phase where I was really, really struggling to cry, in my personal life also. And it was really affecting me on set, because I would really just worry about crying scenes and worry and worry and worry. And I would worry so much that I would almost worry myself out of tears. And I’m sure everyone in here has seen The Imitation Game. There is that beautiful scene at the end of the film, where he breaks down. And I just remember watching that as a kid, just sort of being blown away by it. And I was lucky to be working with him on a film called Current War. And I remember asking him, ‘How did you do that? Did you draw from your own personal emotion? Is there a technique that you do?’ Truth be told, it’s a combination of both.

One can imagine that it might be difficult for an actor find the motivation to cry amid a scene. According to the Cherry actor, thanks to the Doctor Strange actor’s intriguing technique, he no longer had to rely on personal history, making him far more confident to tackle the emotional scenes he once feared. As for the exact method that his co-star uses to generate tears, the former Billy Elliot star further explained:

The technique that he told me was this kind of thing that he’s able to do with his diaphragm. … He sort of does this thing, he showed me on set, and we were just hanging out, having a coffee. … But he would do this thing where he would simulate laughing, and he would breathe really, really quickly. And that would sort of bring the emotion to the surface, and then he could just take it and ride the wave from there. I started doing that, and I love crying scenes now. I love it, I feel really confident. It’s something I really feel like I have in my wheelhouse. I don’t have to draw on past experiences or personal matters anymore, which is really important. … But yeah, Downey, Benedict, and Zendaya.

It’s clear that Tom Holland is making the acting advice work for him, turning in powerhouse performances. That’s not only true of his run of Marvel flicks but also in a project like The Crowded Room, a riveting dramatic series that’s available to anyone with an Apple TV+ subscription.

The status of Spider-Man 4 remains uncertain, though Tom Holland mentioned in that same interview that conversations are ongoing. The British actor has openly expressed some reservations about Spidey 4, emphasizing his desire to ensure a high-quality storyline. However, if the green light is given for another installment, Holland’s readiness to tackle more heavy Spidey material is evident, thanks to the guidance of his mentors. In the meantime, fans can relish the Onward voice actor’s portrayal of Peter Parker by streaming all three of his Home Spider-flicks, available with a Hulu subscription.

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