Tom Holland mistook Robert Downey Jr’s stunt double for the real thing at his Spider-Man audition: ‘I was obviously nervous’

Roisin O'Connor
·2 min read
Holland with Downey Jr in 2017 (Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock)
Holland with Downey Jr in 2017 (Eric Charbonneau/Shutterstock)

Tom Holland’s first meeting with his Marvel co-star Robert Downey Jr didn’t exactly go smoothly, the actor has revealed.

In his cover interview for the new issue of GQ, Holland explained that he had been nervous to meet the Iron Man star during his audition.

“I was obviously nervous. I mean, it would be strange if I hadn't been nervous,” he said. “Thankfully, weirdly, something happened that loosened the pressure valve on my anxiety that day.”

Holland thought he saw Downey Jr in the casting room, so went over to introduce himself.

However, he felt something was “a bit odd”, as the actor didn’t look like he’d remembered.

“ Still, I shook his hand, telling him, 'It's a pleasure to meet you,' saying how excited I was at the opportunity, how much it means to me...” Holland said.

At that moment, Downey Jr walked through a door – it turned out Holland had been “chatting up his stunt double the entire time”.

Fortunately for Holland, this meant his nervousness had disappeared and he was able to meet the real Downey JR “a little more cool and collected”.

Holland said that while he was speaking to the real Downey Jr, he was given some advice that he believes landed him the Spider-Man role.

“He took me to one side and said 'I remember the feeling. I've been through this before and it is incredibly stressful. Enjoy the process and let your body take over.'

“I was doing a new Spider-Man scene just the other day and I had to eat a bowl of cereal. And I just couldn't eat a bowl of cereal like a normal person - I was too in my head. And the director, Jon [Watts], goes 'What are you doing?'

“And I was like 'Sorry, I'm leading with my head and I need to lead with my body.' So it was good advice. And I think that's the piece of advice that got me the Spider-Man job ultimately.”

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