Tom Holland credits Spider-Man success to studying carpentry in Cardiff
As far as unlikely stories are concerned, it’s right up there in the strange but true category.
However, Hollywood star and current big screen webslinger Tom Holland has explained how a pivotal moment in his life came after enrolling on a carpentry course in Cardiff.
It was during the course in the Welsh capital he was offered the role of Spider-Man.
He told GQ magazine, how after back-to-back box office hits in Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, he actually became the iconic superhero during a lull in his acting career.
“I was auditioning, auditioning, auditioning, and I just hit a bit of a rut. And I think, personally, and this is me being very honest, I had just done a Ron Howard film, and I thought I was the dog’s bollocks,” Holland said, referring to 2015’s In The Heart Of The Sea.
The 25-year-old, who has been performing since he was a kid, said working alongside future Avengers cast-mate Chris Hemsworth made him think he was already a star.
“I wasn’t taking auditions seriously, and I just thought, I’ll get this job, I’ll get this job. And I didn’t,” he said.
His mum’s solution – shipping him off to Cardiff for a six-week course in carpentry, helping him to learn a family trade while preparing him for the potential of his acting career not working out.
It turns out he loved the work, which also gave him a touch of perspective and heavy dose of determination when he launched back into auditions.
“My first Spider-Man audition was while I was in Cardiff,” he said, adding “it all kind of clicked” when he took the course.
Back in Cardiff for another week of carpentry.
— Tom Holland (@TomHolland1996) January 11, 2015
The actor expanded on his time in Cardiff during an interview with American talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
When Kimmel asked Holland if he had ever considered doing something else aside from acting as a career, the actor answered: “I didn’t, but my parents did. I went through a phase in my career where I was too old to play a child but too young to play a teenager.
“It took me a long time to grow up, and my mum decided to send me to carpentry school so she like packed my bags up and shipped me up to Cardiff in Wales, and I rented a room off this lady and shared a room with her son for eight weeks.
“This was after I thought I was doing pretty good, and mum was like ‘nope’. So I went to this school and I was there studying and I was getting a qualification to become a carpenter,” he said.
Apparently the course was quite the eye opener for the actor, who has otherwise led quite the cosseted lifestyle as an actor, giving him the necessary grounding he needed to push on with his acting career.
“The crazy thing about the course was it was for people trying to turn their lives around,” he recalled. “You know there’s a lot of ex-cons and some tough people in there, and they’re all like swapping stories and stuff, and then I’m like ‘yeah, there was this one time on set when my coffee was cold man, and it was really tough.’ And yeah, I didn’t finish the course.”
Luckily, it appeared that the actor was already a dab hand at carpentry.
“My mom’s side of the family are all carpenters, so my Granddad taught me when I was young, so I built my mom’s kitchen table. I built a little cabinet in the kitchen. I fixed a friend’s door once.”
As for that table, it’s still intact.
“It’s still there. It’s like 10 years old, it’s still there,” Holland added.
We don’t think Holland is any danger of having to rely on his woodworking skills for his future income.
Carpentry’s loss is definitely acting’s gain.
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As someone who lives in Cardiff I can concur that it is the sort of place that middle class English parents ship their recalcitrant children to for a few months of hard carpentry.