7 Reasons Tom Holland Is the Best Spider-Man
Who is the Best Spider-Man?
Whether you’re a new fan or have grown up loving Spider-Man, everyone has their favorite interpretation of the character. Maybe you love Tobey Maguire’s comic book accurate, shy but lovable Peter Parker. Perhaps you’re a fan of the edgier Andrew Garfield version. Or you’re like me, a huge fan of Tom Holland’s geeky, talkative, and all-around incredible Spider-Man. In my opinion, he takes the crown as the best actor to play Spider-Man, and here are just a few of the obvious reasons why. Please keep in mind that this is subject to change at any time, as I have yet to see any of the Garfield films and have only seen the first two Maguire ones.
He manages to be both awkward and endearing at the same time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Tobey Maguire’s version of Peter Parker. He’s true to the comic books, and I love his awkwardness. However, I just get secondhand embarrassment so easily while watching him interact with some of the other characters, especially MJ. But with Holland, he manages to just be socially awkward enough that I feel bad for him without getting so uncomfortable I want to hide from the screen. Maybe it’s because I relate more to him, but whatever it is, I have such an easier time watching Holland’s character go through the struggles of high school.
2. He nails all the humor.
As I’ve been going through the Marvel movies during quarantine, I’ve learned that I prefer the more light-hearted, funny ones such as the Spider-Man and Ant-Man movies. That being said, I absolutely love how Holland infuses humor to his take on the character, especially through pop culture references. I can’t begin to tell you how hard my family and I laughed when he swung onto the scene in Captain America: Civil War and shouted “You have a metal arm! That is awesome, dude!” to Bucky, or when he revealed his secret identity to MJ in Far From Home. Any time I need a good laugh, I know I can watch one of the movies featuring Spider-Man and feel better immediately.
3. His age is right.
This one kind of explains itself, but it’s so important to me that I included it anyway. As a teenager, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see someone who doesn’t look thirty-five playing a teenager (looking at you, Tobey Maguire). He believably could be in high school, and it just makes my heart happy. He acts and looks like an actual teenager, and it doesn’t feel forced the way it does in some movies. The extracurricular activities he gets himself involved in also feel so nice, especially as someone who has done very similar things to Peter in the past.
4. His chemistry with the other characters is absolutely perfect.
This is probably more on good writing than the rest of these, but the relationships between all the characters feel so real. This is more evident in the way Peter interacts with MJ, which, though being awkward, feels just like the way teenagers interact with each other in reality. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve embarrassed myself in front of someone I find attractive just like Peter has. His friendship with Ned is truly heartwarming, and it’s so nice to see a non-loner Peter whose friends don’t betray him (even though Ned did choose Betty over his best friend for most of Far From Home, but I’m willing to overlook that). Every interaction feels genuine rather than scripted, and I absolutely love it.
This is more of a personal thing than the rest of them. Other than the fact I have yet to be bitten by a radioactive spider or hang out with Earth’s mightiest heroes, I relate a whole lot to Peter Parker. We have the same MBTI type (ENFP, in case you’re wondering), and like him, I am a goofy teenager who is fascinated by higher-level thinking and has interests that would typically be deemed ‘nerdy.’ We’re both somewhat social outcasts, but neither of us let that stop us. Seeing someone like me become a hero is really inspiring, and I see myself more in Holland’s incarnation of Spider-Man than any other. That was probably really corny, but it’s true.
6. He has Stan Lee’s blessing.
Obviously, the stamp of approval from the man who created your character is one of the highest honors any actor can get, and Holland has achieved it. Lee is credited with stating that “it’s as if we created a living being to be Spider-Man, and it turned out to be Tom” after seeing his performance, and I don’t think there’s anything better than that. Holland also resembles the original comic book Peter, which likely aided Lee in seeing just how perfect he was for the role. Like the age thing, this one really speaks for itself.
7. Holland’s passion for the role is obvious.
For Tom Holland, the role of Spider-Man was never just a paycheck. In 2013, at the Jameson Empire Awards, he stated that if he wanted to play any superhero, he would want to be Spider-Man in the next reboot. (see the video here), and in another interview, he said that he grew up loving the original Spider-Man movies. His dedication to the role is unparalleled, even going so far as to go undercover at the Bronx High School of Science for a few days before appearing in Homecoming. He never stops talking about how lucky he is to be playing the role of a lifetime, and his gratitude never feels forced. That true love of the character is something that’s kind of hard to find these days, and it’s so refreshing to see such a big movie star who is so grateful for everything that’s happened to him. That got a little sappy, but hey, I think that’s to be allowed. Also, he can do actual gymnastics, which he didn’t learn for the role, but they’re really helpful.