Alfred Molina Filming Doc Ock Worked Way Better This Time Around, But Tom Holland Says It Had Its Own Funny Drawbacks

Alfred Molina in Spider-Man: No Way Home
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

It’s been more than 15 years since Alfred Molina first played Doctor Octopus, and to say that times have changed since then would be an understatement. Early glimpses of his reprisal in Spider-Man: No Way Home make it clear he still has what it takes to be villainous. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a learning curve when he got back on the No Way Home set. According to Tom Holland, there were some funny drawbacks to the new technology Molina was working with. 

At the beginning of the 21st century, making movie magic happen was a little bit less advanced than it is today. While that doesn’t mean the special effects in any of the other recent Spider-Man films were bad, it does mean that some of the actors dealt with more challenges on set then than they may have today. Tom Holland witnessed the difference first-hand when working with Alfred Molina on the set of his latest Spidey flick. In a recent episode of Hot Ones, he explaine what the main differences were: 

Obviously, when he was making the film, I think it was 2002 maybe? His arms, his sort of robotic arms were puppets. They were real, tangible things, and they’d have a guy on each one and they’d puppeteer them while he was performing. So, he had to work in tandem with the other four guys. On this film, obviously technology has advanced, CGI has become so prevalent in these films, so it was amazing seeing him have a bit more freedom on set with the way he could move without having to rely on other people.

Apparently, there was just one problem with the new advances in technology. It made it a little bit harder to have a normal conversation while on set. The actor continued:

We have this thing called a toothpick rig, which is like a long bar, like almost like a crane with a platform on one end and weights on the other. They put him on that crane so they can move him around so it looks like the arms are carrying him and he loved it. Like, he absolutely loved it. But the funny thing is, you’d be talking to him and he’d be attached to the rig and because he has no control over where he goes, he’d be talking to you, like, ‘Yeah, so Tom, I’m from South London,’ and then he would just suddenly like disappear. He’d be like, ‘Aww fucking hell mate I’ll see ya later.’

At least we know Alfred Molina was having a good time, even if it meant Tom Holland wasn’t able to keep track of him. We also know that Molina wasn’t the only returning actor who enjoyed the new technological advancements. We’ll see how it all comes together, and if there are any more surprise appearances in store, when Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17th.

Katherine Webb