Tom Holland Reveals How He First Met Robert Downey Jr. While Auditioning for ‘Spider-Man’

Before Tom Holland joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Spider-Man, he had to undergo a rigorous audition process. And in a recent interview, Holland revealed how he first met Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. before landing the superhero role. 

Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.
Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. | Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr. share a special bond in the MCU

Downey’s character, Tony Stark, is undoubtedly one of the most beloved superheroes in the MCU movie franchise. He is witty and brave, but he doesn’t warm up to anyone except his lady love, Pepper Potts (Gweneth Paltrow). 

So when Tony took Peter Parker under his wing, fans were pleasantly surprised. Tony was a father-like mentor to Peter. And he helped ease him into his Spider-Man persona.

Tony and Peter’s chemistry can be credited to Holland and Downey, who share a great friendship behind-the-scenes. Downey has looked out for Holland since he joined the MCU. And Holland once admitted that Downey’s contact in his phone is under the name, “The Godfather.”

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Robert Downey Jr. took the ‘Spider-Man’ star under his wing

At a FanX convention in 2019, Holland talked about Downey and revealed how humble the actor is. “The amazing thing about RDJ is that he’s arguably the most famous movie star on the planet or the biggest movie star on the planet,” he said. “But he’s always early, he knows every crew member’s name, he always knows his lines. He’s professional, he’s kind, he’s caring.”

Holland also noted that when he got sick during his first days on set, Downey took care of him. “I was sick on set one day and I didn’t really know the guy,” Holland recalled. “He was really sweet and he kind of looked after me and took me under his wing a little bit.”

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Tom Holland reveals how he first met the ‘Iron Man’ 

The audition process for Spider-Man was not easy for Holland. In a recent chat with Black Panther star Daniel Kaluuya for Variety, he called the process “horrible.”

“It was seven months of auditioning,” Holland said. “I must’ve done six auditions, and they don’t tell you anything. You’re waiting and waiting, and then, eventually, I got a screen test in Atlanta.”

Holland went to the screen test in Atlanta and found six other actors vying for the role. He said they all tested with Downey, but his rapport with the movie star just felt natural. 

“It went so well,” he continued. “It’s the best audition I’ve ever done, him and I were riffing off each other.  — We started riffing with each other, and I mean, to sound like a bit of a d**k, I rang my mum afterward and was like, ‘I think I’ve got it.’”

As well as his audition went, Holland didn’t hear back from the studio for six weeks. He was asked to go back in to do a fight scene with Chris Evans, but when he didn’t hear back again, Holland was sure he lost the part. It wasn’t until Marvel released the news to the press that he found out he would be the next Spider-Man.

“I got my computer, and my dog was sitting next to me. I type in ‘Marvel.’ I’ve still got the article saved on my computer. It said, ‘We would like to introduce our new Spider-Man, Tom Holland.’ I broke my computer because I flipped it up in the air. It fell off my bed; my dog went nuts, I ran downstairs. I was telling my family, ‘I got the part! I got the part!’”