Tom Holland opens up on how he felt filming x-rated scene with male co-star
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Featured Image Credit: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor/Apple TV+
Tom Holland has responded to the reactions to his same-sex intimate scene in Apple TV+'s The Crowded Room.
Holland plays Danny Sullivan, a man with dissociative identity disorder (DID) arrested for a shooting in NYC in 1979. As he's questioned by interrogator, Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny opens up on his past in the build-up of the incident.
The character is loosely inspired by Billy Milligan, the first person in the US to be acquitted of a major crime by pleading dissociative identity disorder.
In episode eight of The Crowded Room, titled 'Reunion', one of Danny Sullivan's personalities — a woman named Ariana — takes over as he's dancing in a nightclub, leading to a passionate encounter with a man in a cramped bathroom stall.
In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Holland has looked back on the scene in question, admitting it was a 'first' for him, though he didn't consider it a milestone, also due to the complex nature of the story.
"I think it is a first [for me]," the actor said.
"It's not a milestone, though. It's not something that I'm like, 'Oh, wow. I got to play my first character with a different sexual preference than I have.' It's obviously a little more complicated than that," he continued.
"It felt very important to tell the story authentically."
The scene was met with praise for the actor, with many fans commenting on his versatile performance. Some homophobic trolls, however, collated Holland's characters in The Crowded Room with his Peter Parker portrayal in the MCU, tweeting with the hashtag #NotMySpiderMan.
"I try not to worry myself about what other people think," Holland continued, possibly referring to some of the backlash the series has faced.
"There's a Christian Bale quote I saw once, which really changed my life. He said, 'If you have a problem with me, text me. And if you don’t have my number, you don’t know me well enough to have a problem with me.'"
Also starring Emmy Rossum in the role of Danny's mother Candy, The Crowded Room has received scathing reviews, currently sitting at a meagre 30% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
As for Holland, the actor clearly pours his heart and soul into the role(s), admitting to having been profoundly impacted by the series, which ultimately led to the decision to take a hiatus from acting.
"I'm no stranger to hard work, I've always lived by this idea that hard work is good work. I really enjoyed it but then again, the show did break me," he told ExtraTV.
"There did come a time when I was sort of, 'I need to have a break'. I disappeared. I went to Mexico for a week and had some time on a beach and lay low. And I'm now taking a year off, and that is a result of how difficult this show was."
The Crowded Room is available to watch on Apple TV with episode nine being released on 21 July. The season finale will stream the following week.