Tom Holland Surprised Sony While Doing His Spider-Man Movement Test

It's hard to imagine anyone but Tom Holland as the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man. When the actor was cast in the role back in 2015, it was the first time an age-appropriate star was playing the web slinger, and it helped that Holland was able to perfectly capture the essence of the comic book superhero/high school teen struggling to balance his double life. The actor's charisma and quick wit solidified him as the best on-screen Spidey for a new generation of fans. But for the folks at Marvel Studios, it was Holland's acrobatic skills that were deemed impressive.

The actor auditioned for the role a startling eight times over five months, and with every next step, he sensed he was getting closer. And the one thing that set Holland aside from the thousands of actors auditioning — he was a newcomer at the time — was his thriving Spider-Man movement test.

Holland did a screen test with Chris Evans

Tom Holland has starred in six movies in the MCU, beginning with "Captain America: Civil War" and ending with the conclusion to his own "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Spider-Man: No Way Home." The British actor's superhero stint had humble beginnings, though.

In 2017, Holland's "Spider-Man" costar Zendaya interviewed the British actor for Interview Magazine, where they discussed Holland's ascent into the movies from his days playing the title role in "Billy Elliot: The Musical." The actor revealed he was 18 when he started auditioning for Spider-Man, describing the process as "stressful," and sharing tidbits from the time, including mistaking Robert Downey Jr.'s stand-in for the Hollywood star and screen testing with Chris Evans, where his ability to do a backflip impressed the executives at Sony:

"That process was five months. I did eight auditions. I did five self-tapes, and then a screen test with Robert Downey Jr. and a screen test with Chris Evans. In the screen test with Robert Downey Jr., they brought me into the room and I met him. I was so nervous. In my head, I thought, 'Wow, you look really weird in person. You don't look like you do onscreen.' I found out later that I met his stand-in. I basically got my nerves out on his stand-in and then met him. Then my screen test with Chris Evans was a movement test. I was like, 'Shall I do a backflip?' And all the Sony guys were like, 'Can you do a backflip?' 'F***, yeah. I've been sending you videos for the last five months of me doing a backflip. How do you not know this?'

'The thing that killed me was the waiting'

When Zendaya asked if those months were the most stressful time of his life, Tom Holland responded in affirmative, sharing, "It was stressful because the closer and closer I got, the more I could see my future changing."

The audition process was hard. But what drove the actor up the wall was the waiting process. Naturally, any massive Marvel Studios decision — let alone the decision to cast an actor in one of the biggest roles in the MCU — is a lengthy, tedious process. Holland had sent in multiple self-tapes, and he still had no feedback from the studio. The actor went on to complete six other auditions, only to be left with no response. He continued to Interview Magazine

"The thing that killed me was the waiting. Even after my self-tapes, they would call me up and be like, 'We're going to let you know tomorrow.' Six auditions later, still nothing. On my last audition, they said, "You need to stay in Atlanta because we'll tell you tomorrow." So I stayed in Atlanta for about a week because my cousin lives there. With each passing day, there was no phone call. I flew back to London. Five weeks passed. I kept checking my phone every 20 minutes, trying to find something."

Tom Holland found out he got the role ... on Instagram

The waiting period did come to an end one day. But before receiving a call from Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, Tom Holland found out he had been cast in the role while scrolling on Instagram. A strange way to find out you've been cast as Spider-Man, but the actor was excited nonetheless:

"Eventually, one day I was sitting on my bed with my dog just scrolling through Instagram, and there it was. It said, 'Go to our website and check out who the new Spider-Man is.' And I did. It said my name. I went crazy. My poor dog had a fit. I ran downstairs, told my family. My brother, Harry, was like, 'No, dude. Sony's account has been hacked. They'd let you know. They'd call you.' Which is so Harry, by the way. He's so pessimistic about everything. But Sony had gotten hacked not long before. Then [president of Marvel Studios, and producer on the film] Kevin Feige rang me up, telling me, 'I've got great news. You're going to be Spider-Man.' I'm like, 'I know, Kevin. It's on Instagram. I'm 19. Did you really think I wasn't going to find it?'"

Whether it's playing with puppies or spoiling the latest Marvel movie, Holland has won over thousands of fans since his superhero tour in the MCU began. He was last seen in "Spider-Man: No Way Home," which made over $1.8 billion, becoming the highest-grossing film released by Sony Pictures, and the third most successful film in the MCU following "Avengers: Endgame" and "Avengers: Infinity War."