September 25, 2023

How Tom Holland Switched to Play the Series’ First Leading Role in ‘The Crowded Room’

Tom Holland in 'The Crowded Room' (Apple TV+)

Tom Holland in The crowded room. (Photo: Apple TV+)

The crowded room is distinctly different from anything Tom Holland has done. The new Apple TV+ series is, among other things, his first starring role in a television program. And the character he plays, a seemingly good-natured man from upstate New York named Danny Sullivan who becomes the focus of a 1979 murder investigation, is nothing like anyone the 27-year-old Briton has embodied before — especially when the layers of his character begin to peel off. in creator Akiva Goldsman’s twisty dramatic thriller (A beautiful ghost, the Da Vinci Code, I am a legend).

The actor best known for playing Peter Parker in Sony and Marvel is extremely popular Spider-Man And Avengers however, movies denies any grand career strategy at work.

“To be perfectly honest with you, mate, I’m not actively looking for anything,” he tells us in a new interview (watch below). “The industry is a minefield and you can come across the best script you’ve ever read one day and the worst you’ve ever read the next. So for me I really live by ‘Never say never’. I’m open to everything. TV was definitely not on my radar, but my agents brought it to me. They told me about Akiva, they told me about the subject. They told me about the opportunity this would bring as an actor, and it was music to my ears. So I was happy to sit down with Akiva. He’s a great seller. He had me after the first meeting and I’m really glad we made it because I’m very proud of it.

Holland was so hooked on Goldman’s pitch that he became an executive producer on the 10-episode miniseries, a loose adaptation of Daniel Keyes’ 1981 non-fiction novel. The thoughts of Billy Milligan.

“He’s just so excited about this project,” said Amanda Seyfried, who plays Rya Goodwin, an investigator who interviews Danny about his allegations. “He really wanted to get it made. People may have been trying to make it for 20, 30 years. And when he came on board and really committed to this, I think that’s why we’re talking about it. I owe it to him for putting himself on the line with such a challenging role. But he was totally up for the challenge and he really showed himself.

THE CROWDED ROOM, Amanda Seyfried, (Season 1, Episode 103, airs June 9, 2023).  photo: ©Apple TV+ /Courtesy Everett Collection

Enter Amanda Seyfried The crowded room. (Photo: Apple TV+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Despite being only nine years older than the Netherlands, Emmy Rossum (Shameless) plays his mother Candy – largely due to the time-jumping element of the series, with Zachary Golinger playing a young Danny Sullivan.

“It was moving to watch them both capture the unique nature of this character’s tenderness and sensitivity,” says Rossum. “As my character says in maybe episode 9 or 10, ‘The world is a cruel place.’ And I think she knows her son has always been different and has said it many times over the course of this series, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And writing [of this] show has this abysmal empathy for these characters who are really trying but really struggling.

On screen, the role of the tumultuous Danny gave Holland, whose previous dramatic film roles include his breakout role The impossible (2012) and the PTSD theme of 2021 Cherryto explore multiple shades of a character like he’s never done before.

“Playing someone as volatile as Danny, someone with such extreme highs and lows, was like a great opportunity for me as an actor to challenge myself, but also to find a way to exist in the middle” Holland says. “That’s the hardest part. The extremes are easy. I can scream and scream all day and I can cry in a corner all day. But finding that middle ground for me, the subtleties of that performance, is what I’m really proud of. And I haven’t really found a character in my career that I can do all three with.

(The role was such a drag for Holland, who has yet to decide whether to make a fourth Spider-Man movie, which the actor has indicated he is taking a year off from acting.)

THE CROWDED ROOM, from left: Sasha Lane, Tom Holland,

Sasha Lane and Tom Holland The crowded room. (Photo: Stephanie Mei-Ling/Apple TV+/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Sasha Lane (American honey, Hellboy), who plays Danny’s enigmatic roommate Ariana, admits she’s never had a Spider-Man film or Holland acting in something else. “I think he took a lot of care in what he did,” says Lane. “He didn’t have an easy job at all, and none of us did. And so I think his effort and the energy he put into it was very impressive. And it’s really cool to be able to see someone through a journey. And it’s not a movie, it’s a show. So there were just months where he tried to perfect his craft and just put a lot of heart into it.

It’s hard to describe too much of it The crowded room‘s plot without giving away spoilers, but in the marketing materials, Apple TV+ does tease that Danny will discover startling revelations about himself.

The crowded room also offered Holland the chance to learn about herself.

“I learned a lot about myself,” he says. “I learned a lot about my abilities as an actor. I learned a lot about my abilities to deal with certain situations. You know, I think maybe a few years ago I was really upset about a few things going on at this job, and I was able to keep a cool head and focus on the job and do my best to do. The thing my dad always raised us with: ‘As long as you try your best, you can be happy.’”

The first three episodes of The crowded room streaming now on Apple TV+.

Watch the trailer:

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