Keystone Comic Con Recap: Tom Holland Swung Into Philly On Sunday

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Courtesy of Staff Writer and Editor Melanie

Sunday was the day to be at Keystone Comic Con. Doors opened two hours early in preparation for one of the biggest moments of the weekend, Tom Holland’s panel. It may have been an early morning for most, but the excitement pulsated throughout the room like electricity.

Since there were a few hours of waiting before the panel actually began, entertainment was provided. Awesome song mixes played while folks found their seats and waited. When time got closer and the room was packed, the entertainment continued with DJ Elliot and “Geek Host” Amanda. First, Spider-Men cosplayers of all ages were asked on stage. From classic Spider-Man to Night Monkey and Spider-Gwen, they all danced a little and took one epic photo for the convention!

The last bit of pre-entertainment came in the form of a game. Four audience members were selected to come on stage. Snippets of songs were played, and if they stepped forward, they had to finish the song sans music. It was funny, amazing, and filled with real talent. It was a lot of fun, and those two hours flew by fast.

Tom Holland came out on stage to a roaring crowd. Once seated, the interviewers wasted no time asking how Holland was doing after the recent news of Spider-Man leaving the MCU. After a brief moment of silence, he told the audience that there were five great movies and five amazing years. It is not the end of him playing Spider-Man. There will be more to come. Marvel allowed his dreams to come true, and Sony is allowing him to continue those dreams. It will be just as amazing and fun!

Courtesy of Staff Writer and Editor Melanie

Holland also told the audience that this stuff [fan interactions, conventions, etc.] never gets old. It was clear he enjoys the experience as much as we, the fans, do! He had a hilarious story of the first time he wore that iconic Spider-Man suit. Sunday was the fitting, and filming was the very next day. It turns out, his stunt double was much bigger than he was and the costume designers were going to tailor Holland to his stunt double’s suit. He wanted all the mirrors covered until it was on, but he could tell by the fitters’ reactions that it was not good. The suit was wrinkly and baggy due to the difference in size! And speaking of suits, his personal favorite was the stealth suit… because he could go to the bathroom in it.

On the topic of favorites, he loved the Venice set. Holland also gave wonderful advice to the audience. He said if you think about being nervous or excited, it’s like the same emotion. So he says he has trained himself to just be really excited for everything. Even backstage, before he walked out! He also talked about how the movies have mirrored his life in a weird and deep way. For instance, when Peter was deciding what he wanted in the movies, Tom was deciding what he wanted in regards to fame. He says there is another mirroring moment for the next movie, and you could tell he really wanted to tell us, but alas, no spoilers! As he later admitted, he really has gotten better at this.

When the topic of genres arose, Holland said that comedy is harder than drama. What should be funny, isn’t, and vice versa. Like the drone scene in SpiderMan: Far From Home when Peter is on the bus. That scene was apparently supposed to be dramatic! In terms of what he would like to do more of, he will be doing a movie with the Russo brothers, Cherry, where he will get to explore a more emotional performance. He said he is currently trying to lose weight for the film, but it is not working because he loves pizza. Which I’m sure was probably the most relatable thing he said during the entire panel!

Courtesy of Staff Writer and Editor Melanie

Holland briefly talked about his training as a dancer and gymnast (as he describes, very basic gymnastics), and how he has applied that to his role as Spider-Man. He says that as an actor, your face is the most powerful tool. But when you take that away, you need physicality. He took ballet for 4 years, gymnastics, and tap! He also talked about being bullied when he was a kid, and how Peter has been bullied, too. He said Peter is the best friend who doesn’t judge. Peter taught him about inclusion, happiness, and friendship. Peter feels like his “best mate.” He continued by telling the audience that everything you do for someone else is better than doing anything for yourself.

He said the coolest part about working with so many talented actors is that he gets to work with people he grew up watching. He said that stepping on the Avengers set was like stepping into a family-oriented soap opera. Holland also said that he always wanted to work with Jake Gyllenhaal, and now he is his best bud. As for what he has learned from Robert Downey, Jr. –  it’s how he can be one of the biggest movie stars, but also one of the nicest, hardworking people. He is at the top of his game and “not a dick” (his words, sorry kids). These big movie sets and crews spoil him because you get to work with the best of the best. Like the “wedding” scene in Avengers: End Game. They had 60 trailers on set. Then, you go to an indie film and everyone shares just one trailer. He said nothing is made like these Marvel/Sony movies.

Courtesy of Staff Writer and Editor Melanie

For a funny story, he talked about the scene in SpiderMan: Homecoming where Spider-Man runs through the street like a “fiddler on the roof.” He was in that suit for 11 hours! He told his mom about it and went to the set the next day. The director came up to him and asked how his kidneys were. His mom had called, and so he ended up getting frequent bathroom breaks! (To which he called and thanked his mom.) Holland’s favorite memory was at D23 when the Infinity War trailer was first released. Homecoming had been released that weekend, and some of the biggest movie stars were sitting on the floor watching the screen. He and Benedict Cumberbatch were tearing up. He said the surreal-ness never fades.

Fun fact: Tom Holland almost had a cameo in Into the Spiderverse! He couldn’t say what the cameo would have been, but he loves that movie. He would also love to bring Miles Morales to life on-screen with him. He learned a lot about Miles through Into the Spiderverse, as well as a different aspect of Spider-Man. He also filmed Avengers and the upcoming The Current War simultaneously. It was the first time he was ever nervous at a premiere. That is because he had no idea what he did for Avengers due to his busy schedule. But he was really glad “I don’t wanna go” made it! He finished the panel by talking about The Brothers Trust, a charity set up by his family. He said it has been the best part of playing Spider-Man. The Brothers Trust supports charities that don’t have a lot of exposure. They work on making a difference in the world, either small or large. Definitely go check it out!

Courtesy of Staff Writer and Editor Melanie

It was a long, busy day for talent and con-goers alike, but absolutely worth it! Tom Holland was a class act throughout the day. Firefly and Suits fans got to ask star Gina Torres questions during her panel. Folks got to attend Retro Replay Live! It was an absolute blast and the perfect ending to a fun-filled weekend! I’m certainly looking forward to next year’s Keystone Comic Con, August 28-30! Save the date!

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By Melanie
When Melanie isn’t writing for Nerds and Beyond, she’s doing her best to make professional fangirl a thing. She loves writing fan fiction, drawing fan art, reading comics and binge-watching like it’s a professional sport. Her list of fandoms just keep growing, and will always cite Supernatural and Psych as her first forays into fangirldom. Though Nancy Drew will always be her first real fandom. Melanie works hard at making her art a career and has dreams of becoming a published author someday. You can find her on Twitter @FangirlLanie.
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