Tom Holland is the man of the hour—or the day, months, and years. The British actor certainly needs no introduction. His face (and name) has been on billboards, in magazines, and even on your lock screen. (We won’t be surprised) While he certainly became a household name when he took on the role of friendly neighbourhood superhero Spider-Man, the 27-year-old actor already had promising beginnings since stepping into acting. Now, he heralds a new era in his career (no, it’s not just the long hair). Tom Holland joins The Crowded Room, a new series on Apple TV+ which marks his first series lead role. Check out our interview with Tom Holland!
It’s not surprising that Academy Award-winning writer and executive producer of the show, Akiva Goldsman called Tom Holland “the first and only person for [the] role” of Danny Sullivan. The character involves Holland constantly switching gears, something that viewers have seen him do in another Apple TV+ original, Cherry. Always up for a challenge and ready to stretch himself as a character, Holland teased years ago about wanting to play a character like this, citing Edward Norton’s role in Primal Fear.
The character in question: Danny Sullivan. The series follows the young man after being arrested due to his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979. As Danny’s life story unfolds, viewers experience a captivating psychological bloodbath that eventually leads to a life-altering revelation. In this exclusive interview with Lifestyle Asia, Tom Holland talks about The Crowded Room including the emotional weight of bringing his character to the screen and just how intense the whole experience is.
Tom Holland on producing ‘The Crowded Room’ and playing Danny Sullivan
Tell us more about your emotional preparation for the role of Danny Sullivan.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t think there was any way in which I could have emotionally prepared for how tough this show was going to be. My preparation was solely just based on how we are going to bring this character to life and set up this world that is New York in the 70s. This series is a true psychological thriller, and it follows a very complicated criminal case.
So, I don’t think I really had anticipated how difficult emotionally it was going to be. It was a little bit of a slap in the face. But I’ve been slapped in the face before, so it was nothing new. (laughs) Still, it was a wonderful experience getting ready for this show. And I love to challenge so I was really excited.
You also serve as executive producer of the series; did you have creative freedom when it comes to shaping the character?
Yeah, there were creative decisions made every day. Whether they were by me or not, I was always a part of those conversations. And I loved being an executive producer on this show. At times, I had to take a step back and just focus on the performance because it was too much to do at once. But whether it was picking a location or talking about casting or changing certain aspects of the story in the script, I know that the ninth episode took a huge change and development as the show went on. And I’m delighted they did so.
I think [my character] is breathtaking in that episode. So, I’m delighted that (creator and executive producer) Akiva Goldsman made that decision. I had nothing to do with that, but he definitely told me about it. So, I’m really happy to have been part of that. I love being an executive producer and I’m excited to do it again. I’m going to try and do it on every project I work on because I absolutely loved it.
Is your approach to playing Danny different from the previous roles you’ve worked on?
My own approach to playing Danny… Wow, it was so long ago so now it (feels) crazy. There was no real different approach to anything that I do. It was the same research; it was just more intense. It was the same process, but it was just more intense. Technically, it also felt the same, but it was just more intense. Everything about the show was more intense. So, it just was a little bit of an adjustment period to figure out how to deal with it. But in terms of process, it was relatively similar to things I’ve done in the past.
‘The Crowded Room’ is showing on June 9, exclusively on Apple TV+. Watch the trailer below: