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Tom Holland's Accent Game Is Beyond Impressive

This content was paid for by Netflix and created by Looper.

Audiences across the world have come to know and love Tom Holland thanks to his portrayal of one of the MCU's most popular heroes: Peter Parker, better known as the Amazing Spider-Man. Though the role had been brought to the silver screen before by other fine actors, Holland is particularly suited for the part thanks to quick wit, natural agility, and, of course, one tireless workout regimen.

Ever since becoming an international superstar, Holland has continued to charm audiences with his friendly demeanor and on-screen talents. But there's one thing about him that does seem to surprise fans whenever he's appearing as himself: His ultra-convincing American accent is not real, and Holland's natural dialect is actually British. It's true: Holland has revealed that during many encounters with fans, he has been met with utter shock over the sound of his original accent. What might be even more surprising to fans is that, over the years, Holland has been steadily developing a solid pronunciation portfolio and has already mastered several different dialects on-screen. Here's a look at just how impressive Tom Holland's accent game really is.

He started out on a familiar note

Tom Holland got his start in show business at the tender age of 12, starring in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical. Back then, it was the language of dance that Holland perfected for his adoring audiences. But soon he would take his act from the stage to the screen, where he got to show off his acting skills in several of his earliest films.

Holland made his silver screen debut in Juan Antonio Bayona's 2012 disaster biopic The Impossible, which featured him as Lucas, a child who is separated from his parents in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Holland spent much of his time in the film sharing the screen with Naomi Watts, who played his injured mother and who received an Academy Award nomination for her work in the film. He also had to carry multiple scenes on his own, though, including one heart wrenching moment when Lucas steps up to help reunite a father and son, despite being ripped away from his own family. The scene required Holland to do a bit of language barrier-breaking in his search, since the family he helped was from Sweden, but Holland stuck to his own British roots for the role.

He continued to use his own accent in several parts to follow, including his turn as Isaac in the 2013 Kevin Macdonald drama How I Live Now and as Gregory Cromwell in the BBC mini-series Wolf Hall. But as Holland's acting opportunities began expanding even further, he started to experiment with new elocutions on-screen.

Then came the new sound that stuck

Tom Holland had to work to find his character's voice for Ron Howard's 2015 epic In the Heart of the Sea. The film featured him as young Thomas Nickerson, a cabin boy on the Nantucket whaling ship Essex, whose fate would inspire Herman Melville's classic novel Moby-Dick. Not only did Holland and his co-stars have to capture the early 19th Century era and the New England locale in his vocals, but he also had the unique challenge of aligning his accent and speech patterns with actor Brendan Gleeson, who portrayed the elder version of his character.

Shortly thereafter, Holland would dive even further into American accent studies to become the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man for Captain America: Civil War. He worked with dialect coach Rick Lipton to master Peter Parker's Midtown sound, and — apart from one day of shooting on Spider-Man: Homecoming when his coach was not on set and Holland slipped back into his British accent for a scene that had to later be dubbed — it was an utter success. Holland even managed to pull off an Americanized version of an Asgardian affectation in one scene in which Peter playfully mocks Thor. After his MCU debut, Holland emerged as an instant favorite and has since sported the Spidey suit in several films to follow, including three standalone Spider-Man movies and the last two Avengers blockbusters.

Holland's American accent continued coming in handy for other movies, including the 2016 thriller Edge of Winter and his new crime drama Cherry, and he even used it in his voice roles in the animated films Spies in Disguise and Onward. The actor has become so used to speaking with the character's New York cadence that it's now his go-to for performances and storytelling, whether there are cameras around or not. He has honed his accent skills so much that he's even fully adapted different pronunciations and even choices of words, much to the confusion of his mates back in the United Kingdom. In fact, Holland's proficiency with an American dialect is so strong that he occasionally turns it on without meaning to and sometimes forgets to return to his natural English accent, even when he's appearing as himself.

He also dug into some new roots

In addition to becoming such an expert on both British and American accents that he once rose to the challenge of switching between both accents live on French TV, Holland has also shown some skills with an Irish accent as well.

In the 2017 period film Pilgrimage, Holland appeared as the medieval monk Brother Diarmuid, who is part of a fraught mission to transport a holy relic to Rome amid the turmoil of the early 1200s in Europe. As the novice of the travelling group, Holland's character is shown asking a lot of questions about morality and purpose and history, and the actor does well to keep his Irish accent subtle but steady. He also delivers several lines in Gaelic, so Holland had to train for six weeks to get his accents just right for the film.

Moreover, Holland revealed that working on location for the film in Belfast, Ireland was an experience that was near and dear to his heart, as his own "granny" and other family members live in the town of Tipperary. So in addition to being British, he has some roots in the Emerald Isle.

He then pushed himself into uncharted territory

Tom Holland continued to broaden his articulation skills with his stunning performance as Arvin in Antonio Campos' 2020 American gothic drama The Devil All the Time. The film takes place in rural Ohio and West Virginia in the '50s and '60s, and Arvin is a man who chooses his words carefully. To prepare for the role, Holland continued to work with his dialect coach to develop his character's voice, and Holland had a blast setting aside his chipper Peter Parker persona to find the "lower register" and "more menacing" tones of his troubled new character. He knew that it was a top priority for his performance to get the southern accent right, and in the film, he more than delivers with the deep and gritty drawl that matches Arvin's personality.

Tom Holland's command of his character's voice proves to be essential in several scenes, but he especially stands out in the big confrontation scene with Robert Pattinson's Rev. Preston Teagardin. Though Arvin lets the preacher get his own words in, too, Arvin says his piece about how the reverend has wronged his family, and every syllable of Holland's dialogue is dripping with pain and the desire for retribution. Holland has such a strong grip on his accent that viewers can forget he's even putting it on and sink right into the power of what he is saying — and, of course, what he is also going to do about it.

The southern accent isn't the only regional American dialect that Holland has tried on for size in his latest cinematic adventures. Recently, while he was shooting the video game adaptation Uncharted with co-star Mark Wahlberg, he picked up on Wahlberg's thick Boston accent, and he had to work to shed that before shooting Spider-Man: No Way Home. The actor told USA Today, "My dialect coach was like, 'Why are you saying 'cah'? You're not from there." Maybe for his next role, Holland will head to the Cradle of Liberty and see how far he can take this new tone.