Tom Holland Surprised Chris Evans At His Marvel Audition In The Way Only A Spider-Man Can

Some actors stroll into an audition ready to run lines and others backflip onto the scene with the energy of 10 Billy Elliots. If the role in question happens to be a web-swinging superhero known for cool flips and wild stunts, then the acrobatics can come in handy. Such was the case for the MCU's current Peter Parker, Tom Holland. Now that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is three weeks into a record-breaking theatrical debut and the MCU is many years into its world domination, it's hard to remember a time before Holland was swinging through CGI New York as our favorite webhead. But if you can manage to think back to the distant past of 2015, you'll remember that Holland was once an unknown entity. Long before his days of dancing in the rain and jumping off flying pirate ships, he was just another kid trying out for a life-changing role, and according to Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige, Holland earned his spot for a long list of reasons.

In a recent interview ahead of "No Way Home," Feige detailed Holland's audition process for his role in "Captain America: Civil War" and the "Homecoming" trilogy it would eventually kickoff. Securing the role involved chemistry reads with MCU stars Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Obviously, both went amazingly well for the young star. Feige said:

​​"We flew about five actors in and had them do readings with Robert Downey Jr and it was his graciousness — he's always so gracious, particularly with other actors, with his time. We narrowed it down with that reading and then we did one more with Chris Evans and it became very apparent that Tom Holland was not just an amazing Peter Parker but he incredibly was an amazing — no pun intended — Spider-Man."

Backflipping His Way Into The Role

At this point, we know all about Holland's bond with Downey Jr., and their boundless onscreen chemistry. But what of Captain America? How did the young star win Chris Evans over? Naturally, he did what anyone with his acrobatic skill set would — lots and lots of backflips. Feige said:

"He had both the abilities of a great actor and the abilities of a great gymnast and stunt performer, which was just an added bonus which continues to blow us away and surprise us. I remember he did a giant flip right in front of [Chris] Evans during that reading. He threw Evans off, he couldn't believe what he just saw in front of him."

Oh, to be in the room when Tom Holland inexplicably starts flipping in front of a shocked Chris Evans. The way Holland tells the story, all this flipping was very important throughout the whole process. It even played a key role in his audition tape which, in his words, went a little like this:

"I was like, 'Hi, I'm Tom Holland.' Backflip. 'I'm 5-foot-7.' Backflip. 'I'm 20 years old.' Backflip. 'I'm from London.' Backflip. Just to prove to them that I could. Every opportunity I got, I was flipping all over the place."

His second and final screen test with Evans involved a fight rehearsal which Holland saw as yet another opportunity to spice things up. He said:

"I didn't even do the routine. I was just somersaulting everywhere. Chris Evans had the first line of the scene and I was flipping. I think he was a little bit taken aback, so completely forgot his line. It was fun. And it worked out, obviously."

How Tom Holland Proved Himself

I like to imagine Chris Evans wearing a shocked Pikachu face while Holland somersaults through the room, and I desperately wish such a hilarious scene made it into the final product. And though it didn't, the screen test honestly sounds like a pretty accurate summation of the Peter Parker and Steve Rogers relationship we catch onscreen: Spider-Man pops in out of nowhere, catches Cap off guard, and performs some daring feats. 

Thankfully, this audition story doesn't end with Chris dropping a multi-ton jetway on him. I know Holland has a reputation for wanting to do a ton of his own stunts, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't have Peter Parker's signature super strength. What he lacks in superpowers, however, he makes up in all the other aspects of the character! 

Who's to say which actor made the best version of Spider-Man? Certainly not us, nope. But who can deny the absolute joy of watching Holland's Peter grow up throughout his trilogy? This was the original vision for the "Homecoming" saga, according to Feige — to track Peter through his senior year as he grows into himself as a hero. Those initial screen tests were so important because of the role Tony and Steve ultimately played in the young hero's journey. And they ultimately proved why Holland was the best choice for the role:

"That dynamic between a very young Tom Holland interacting with Robert Downey Jr. for the first time was exactly the dynamic we wanted between a young Peter Parker interacting with Tony Stark for the first time. And seeing our Peter grow and grow out of that, the shadow of Iron Man, as we saw him start to do in "Far From Home." And which he completely does now in 'No Way Home,' and really becomes his own hero."

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" is now playing in theaters.