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Tom Holland's Secret To Making Spider-Man Seem Like A Regular Teen

There are many ways in which Tom Holland's Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is different from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's iterations of the hero. While the other two live-action versions of the Web-Head have stayed on planet Earth, Holland's Spidey has gone off-world to Titan in Avengers: Infinity War. A good amount of time was spent in previous Spider-Man films developing the relationship between Peter Parker and Uncle Ben, but the first Holland-led solo outing, Spider-Man: Homecoming, skips over that plot point and simply leaves their relationship open to interpretation (as of this point in the franchise). 

Even though other live-action Spider-Men have gotten out of high school fairly quickly, Holland has gone on tons of adventures across five MCU films all while finding the time to figure out what to write for his English class essay. In fact, Holland's continued portrayal of the superhero as a teenager not only differentiates him from other Spider-Man actors, but also other super-powered individuals in general. He's still just a kid fighting alongside billionaires and super-soldiers, and that lack of experience makes for some hilarious and intriguing developments to the MCU. 

That kind of characterization hasn't been lost on the actor, either. In a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times in promotion of his upcoming film Cherry, Holland spoke about how he makes Peter Parker appear like a regular teen in the MCU movies. 

Properly portraying Peter Parker as a teenager

The titular character Holland plays in Cherry, an Army-veteran-turned-robber who struggles with opioid addiction, is a huge departure from what audiences typically associate the actor with. As stated in The Los Angeles Times article, Holland had to lose 30 pounds to adequately portray the emaciated nature of his Cherry character, and this is in stark contrast to how he normally looks and acts in the MCU. But for Holland, that's the name of the acting game for him. "Physicality for me is the biggest way I try to distinguish between the characters that I play," he told the outlet. 

With that in mind, it's no surprise then that adjusting the way he carries himself was crucial for Holland when embodying Peter Parker. He explained to The Los Angeles Times that his secret to making Spider-Man seem like a normal teen is all in the arms. 

"If you look at Peter Parker, he's very bubbly, and I do this thing where I leave my arms really loose," said Holland. "It gives him this juvenile, kid-like physicality." 

This technique also makes sense when looking at Peter's role in the MCU as a whole. Heroes like Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans) entered the superhero realm as adults who were a bit more sure of themselves (even if they still had some insecurities). They're more solid when they assume their various superhero stances, but Spider-Man's still finding his place in this world. Much like regular teenagers trying to figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives, Peter's still discovering who he is and making mistakes along the way (like handing Tony Stark's tech-y sunglasses to Mysterio in Far From Home). 

It's safe to say that even beyond the MCU's Spider-Man 3, Tom Holland isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It'll be interesting to see how Peter Parker's physicality changes over the years as the character goes from a teenager to an even more integral force in defending Earth.