Rising to global stardom at such a young age, Tom Holland has already managed to make it into Forbes’30 Under 30 Europe list. Growing up with a passion for dancing, at an early age of nine, Holland’s parents enrolled him in a dancing class, which later helped him to become the main star of Billy Elliot The Musical at London’s Victoria Palace Theater. It was not until 2012 that he made his film debut and decided to become a full-time actor.
Although Holland is the youngest actor to play a title role in an MCU movie, he starred in a few movies before landing the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. Let’s take a look at the humble list of his best movies before Spider-Man.
5 The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
This may be a shocker for you, but Holland’s voice can be heard in the UK dub version of the Studio Ghibli animated movie The Secret World of Arrietty. Loosely based on The Borrowers by Mary Norton, the plot tells the story of tiny people who secretly live in the floors and creaks of human households. This secrecy is broken when one of the girls forms a friendship with 12-year-old Shō (Holland). The StudioCanal dub came a year before the DisneyDub, but they were already using the strategy of getting a mix of rising stars, such as Holland and Saoirse Ronan, big names, and long-time actors as the cast.
4 In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
The MCU was not the first time Holland has shared the big screen with an Avenger. The historical-adventure movie In the Heart of the Sea saw him starring alongside big names such as Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy. The film is based on the 2000 book of the same name, telling the story of a sinking ship Essex in 1820. Holland plays 14-year-old Nickerson, who signs on the ship as a cabin boy. For Holland, filming was a challenge: per Independent, he distinctly remembered how director Ron Howard “was adamant on making everything as authentic as possible”. In that same interview, Holland also recalled: “[Ron] had a prosthetic whale head built and I had to cover myself in vaseline and clamber in. They threw a bucket down first and I banged my head on it. “
3 How I Live Now (2013)
How I Live Now marks Holland’s second time starring alongside Saoirse Ronan, who plays the main character Daisy. Released in 2013, the movie is a speculative romance centered around Daisy and her British cousins as they try to reunite the family during a nuclear apocalypse. Holland plays one of the cousins, Isaac, who ends up dying in a massacre when the army separates the boys and girls. The movie overall has certain questionable themes of cousin romantic love, but young Holland did an amazing job at portraying his emotions. If you ignore the romantic aspects of the movie, given the fact it’s a British independent production, it’s very well shot and has beautiful set designs.
2 Locke (2013)
Locke is a critically acclaimed psychological drama released back in 2013, starring Tom Hardy in the title role and has only him appearing on screen throughout the course of the movie. But his character does have conversations on the speakerphone with numerous side characters, one of whom is Tom Holland. Holland plays one of his sons, Eddie, who calls to update him on an important football match that they were supposed to watch together. Hardy delivers an amazing acting performance that will certainly bring you to tears. Since we’re already on the topic of Hardy and Holland, would it not be amazing if they reunited as Venom and Spider-Man?
1 The Impossible (2012)
Last but not least, we have the disaster drama The Impossible, in which Holland makes his film debut. We can collectively thank this movie for working out so well, considering how it became Holland’s stepping stone to becoming one of the most popular young actors of our generation. The movie is based on a real-life experience of a family in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. For his role as the 12-year-old son, Holland received a London Film Critics Circle Award for Young British Performer of the Year, which pushed him to pursue acting full-time.
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