Tom Holland Had the Perfect Opportunity to Fist-Bump Stan Lee and Missed It

Tom Holland has inhabited the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2016, and for fans, he is one of the best ever to don the iconic web-slinger’s suit.

Holland has played the character in five Marvel films now, including Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. With his role secured for the next phase of Marvel movies, fans are eagerly waiting for his next starring turn — all while reminiscing about all the great moments that he has enjoyed with the franchise thus far. 

How did Tom Holland become an actor?

Tom Holland
Tom Holland | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

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Tom Holland was born in England in 1996. As a child, Holland trained as a dancer, and although he later admitted to being bullied for his hobby, his acrobatics and gymnastic work meant that he would eventually become the perfect fit for the character of Spider-Man. Holland attended The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and began performing with a local dance school.

In 2008, Holland made his West End debut in the popular musical Billy Elliot. Over the next several years, Holland devoted the majority of his time to touring with the production, earning acclaim for both his acting and dancing abilities.

In 2011, Holland began to break into the film industry, lending his voice to the animated movie Arrietty, and appearing the following year opposite Ewan McGregor in the drama film The Impossible. Next up was a supporting turn in Ron Howard’s epic film, In the Heart of the Sea, released in 2015. 

Stan Lee’s iconic ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ cameo

In 2015, Tom Holland was revealed by Marvel Studios to be the new Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Although many fans were unfamiliar with Holland’s work up until that point, when he made his first appearance as the superhero in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, everyone was fully convinced. By 2017, Holland had starred in his first standalone Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Homecoming

That film, which earned comparisons from happy critics to classic teen comedies of the eighties, not only featured Michael Keaton as the villain, but it also included one of Spider-Man creator Stan Lee’s most memorable cameos.

In the movie, Lee plays a character listed in the credits as “Gary,” who is relaxing when he is disturbed by the sounds of Spider-Man fighting crime. Lee’s character shouts at Parker, threatening him with “don’t make me come down there, you punk!” Out of all of Lee’s brilliant, funny cameos, this one has become one of the most beloved among fans. 

Tom Holland missed the chance to fist-bump Stan Lee

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The set of Spider-Man: Homecoming was certainly a special place, as it was Holland’s first big turn as Peter Parker. It was especially momentous for the young actor in that he got to work directly with Stan Lee, the iconic Marvel comic book writer. Recently, a fan posted a picture on Reddit, commemorating a moment when Lee tried to go in for a fist bump with his young co-star, but Holland, completely oblivious to Lee’s friendly gesture, was focused on the camera.

One fan pointed out that Lee’s presence on set could be one reason why Holland is so good in the role of Spider-Man — because he was able to get “coaching here from the original writer and creator.”

Another poster stated that it could have been special for Lee as well, since “Spiderman was his baby, and to see such a phenomenal and loved portrayal of your baby would be incredible.”

Other fans pointed out that Lee always had a soft spot for the character of Spider-Man, and that his cameo in the film was a perfect sendoff for the iconic writer.