Tom Holland vividly remembers his first movie crush. — “Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” he told W magazine, recalling, “She wears this pink dress. That was mind-blowing for me.” The Spider-Man star, 24, specifically referenced a then 15-year-old Emma Watson (now 30), who played Hermione Granger, in a layered pink dress in the 2005 film.
Tom sat down with W for the magazine’s annual ‘Best Performances’ issue, where he discussed the evolution of his acting career — from his first auditions, to the first film he booked, and his love for acting with an American accent. The English actor was born and raised in the United Kingdom.
“When I was 8 or 9, I auditioned for every role in Romeo and Juliet, including Juliet, and I didn’t get a single part,” he recalled while discussing his first auditions. “When I was 11, I booked Billy Elliot; that was the first job I ever booked. I couldn’t dance, but trainers would come to my school and teach me to dance at lunch,” he explained, admitting, “I was at a rugby school, so doing ballet in tights in the school gym wasn’t the coolest of things to do, but it paid off.”
Tom went on to explain the exceptional experience he had while filming The Impossible — the first film he ever booked. “It was an amazing experience. I got the chance to work with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. That was the first time I realized that I could be an actor and it was something that I could do for the rest of my life,” he said of the monumental moment. “I immediately fell in love with the idea of making movies, and was so lucky that afterward people really responded to the film.”
In his new film, Cherry, Tom’s American accent is arguably his best pronunciation performance. Though, his ability to switch accents so quickly didn’t come easy. “Just hard work, really,” he said. “I’m very lucky. My dialect coach, Rick Lipton, who goes by Pretty Ricky, is one of my best mates. We’ve been working together for years now— I think we’re coming up on our 10th or 12th movie together. We just put the work in, practice, practice, practice, and get it done.”
When asked if he’s ever dreamed in English with an American accent, Tom said, “I’m sure I have. I’ve been working in an American accent so much that whenever I tell a story, like at a dinner party, I kind of immediately start speaking in an American accent because it feels more comfortable,” he admitted. “It feels like I’m performing. So the day that I start doing an English accent on set again will be a little bit complicated for me.”