Casting an actor for a role as iconic as a long running superhero comes down to two things: the actual ability to play the role, and having the right people in your corner. In the case of Tom Holland’s casting as Spider-Man, he’s got both factors locked down, as his gymnastics and acting prowess won over none other than Chris Hemsworth during their tenure on Ron Howard’s In The Heart Of The Sea.
While speaking with Hemsworth, best known as the lead of the Thor franchise, I was curious as to what might have convinced him that Holland was the right guy for the job. Seeing as his Owen Chase spends a lot of time interacting and sharing the screen with Holland’s Thomas Nickerson, there had to have been some moment that the two shared that helped convince the Marvel Cinematic Universe veteran that this young buck was the right choice to spin a web. Sure enough, he shared the following knowledge dealing with not only how he felt about Holland’s abilities, but also how he put in a good word for the lad:
I ran into the guys when he was auditioning for Spider-Man, I ran into the guys at Marvel and said, ‘Look, you’re not going to meet a more appreciative and hard-working, talented actor, and especially, for his age. I was sort of blown away by that, and the amount of integrity and precision he has with his acting. But, he is a true fan of it. We were talking about comic books at length when we were doing [Heart], and he would express how he grew up on Spider-Man and loved it and so on.
Tom Holland, for all intents and purposes, is the functional lead character of In The Heart Of The Sea – as his younger incarnation of Thomas Nickerson connects to the older version telling the story of the Essex, played by Brendan Gleeson. Which means his scenes depicting the younger half of Nickerson's story would have to be a real standout for him to win such a glowing recommendation. For a relatively up and coming actor, Holland has had the eyes of the world on him ever since he was announced as the new Peter Parker. Yet you wouldn’t know it, according to Chris Hemsworth’s remarks on Holland’s views on the matter of superheroes:
He has a whole lot of sense of fun and sort of, wide-eyed fascination with it, which I think is integral to the character, and to that world. I think that superhero films that I love, when there is, you see the people on screen having fun too.
It’s no secret that Tom Holland is a fan of the Spider-Man mythos, and with a natural gymnastic ability, and acting chops that blend well with a cast of well-known dramatic actors, you can begin to see what Hemsworth saw in Holland; which is also why he was more than happy to put in a warm hearted recommendation for his casting as the next man for the job. Though don’t let his fresh comic casting fool you, he more than pulls his weight among the crew of In The Heart Of The Sea, as you’ll be able to see for yourself when the film opens on December 11th.
Stay tuned to Cinema Blend, as we’ll have more coverage on In The Heart Of The Sea forthcoming.