In between gigs that see him swinging through New York’s skyscrapers as everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, young Tom Holland recently took on the role of a soldier returning from Iraq who becomes addicted to drugs. And this is something that his fellow Avenger Robert Downey Jr has some personal experience with.
In a GQ interview from April 2021, Holland discussed how hard it was to lose weight and to channel the feeling of being on a bender for his role in Cherry – he used pre-workout to help him, apparently. He also described the advice Robert Downey Jr gave him when auditioning for Spidey, and how he helped him land the role.
Downey Jr told Holland; “enjoy the process and let your body take over” and he told GQ; “it comes down to being able to carry the mantle. To be able to weather the trial by fire that rains down on someone when taking on such a thing. Marvel fans are wonderfully yet terrifyingly committed. They absorb all of you. They expect to. Becoming Spider-Man is a bit like going down a K-hole [apparently this is a reference to ketamine] – it’s easy to get lost in there.”
Downey Jr continued; “He’s a beekeeper. Sure. Me, Tom, the Marvel guys, we’re beekeepers. It’s not sexy. It’s hot under those damn suits. You can’t see us. We’re sweating to make the sweet, sweet syrupy nectar to be consumed for our leaders. We’re all beekeepers. Overpaid beekeepers.”
It sounds as though Downey Jr took his role as mentor to Holland as seriously as Tony took it, when overseeing Peter Parker. The future of Holland’s Spidey is currently up in the air following the completion of his MCU trilogy. Now that Sony are developing several Spidey villain stories including Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web, who knows if he’ll be popping up in those?