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Tom Holland and cast share why ‘No Way Home’ was so meaningful

By Kara Santos Published Jan 28, 2022 5:32 pm

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: This article contains plot and cast reveals for Spider-Man: No Way Home

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By now, it’s no secret that in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland’s web-slinging adventures into the multiverse involved teaming up in an epic battle with other iterations of Spider-Man, played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the first movie to gross more than $1billion at the global box office since 2019, and broke opening weekend records when it was first released internationally in December. The superhero blockbuster film finally screened in Philippine theaters earlier this month on Jan. 8.

For the first time ever, the three Spidey actors appeared together in a rare three-way Zoom interview moderated by Deadline’s Pete Hammond, with the trio discussing how emotional and meaningful the experience was for them all.

Spoiler alert, but the film marks the first time that three actors who have played Peter Parker in films over the past 20 years share the screen together in the same frame, and it is as epic as you can imagine.

“I mean, I always knew that this film would be loved around the world. I didn’t think it would be quite as massive as it has been,” said Holland in the exclusive interview made available on Deadline's social media channels and Spider-Man YouTube channel on Thursday, Jan. 27.

Holland has played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in a whole slate of MCU films including Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home

“One of my favourite things to do at the minute is to go online and watch fans’ reactions to you guys coming in that one scene in particular. I don’t think I could ever have imagined it as being so well received by everyone,” he added. 

“I mean, I guess I had an idea that people would love this movie, but in no way, shape, or form could I have thought it was going to be as big as it has been, and it’s been… only the last couple weeks, have I sort of really come back to reality and come home and started to face real-world problems, and it feels like we’ve been on some sort of really weird dream. It feels really strange.”

Tobey Maguire, who played the OG Peter Parker in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy (2002-2007), said he was “immediately intrigued” by the concept when Sony film producer Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige approached him with the idea. It’s been 14 years since the 46-year old actor donned the Spidey suit.

“Really, it was such a rich experience, and as the guys have touched on, the kind of sharing of something and the brotherhood of it. It was just so rich, emotional. I’m not sitting there conceptually thinking about that all the time, but I would have moments where that kind of stuff would hit me. You know, day to day, it was just a beautiful kind of unfolding of this story and these relationships,” said Maguire.

“And the way those films and characters evolved in those films are unique, and then to bring all of that together, including all of our supervillains and all of that, it was pretty wild to witness the immensity of all of this history coming together and being put into what Andrew was saying is this standalone, worthwhile story,” Maguire added.

Andrew Garfield, who played the second modern film version of Peter Parker in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel, joked that he only returned because Tobey was involved.

Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man.

"Well I was just waiting to see if Tobey was going to do it and if Tobey was going to do it then I was like 'Well I have no choice’. I'd follow Tobey to the to the ends of the Earth. I'm a Lemming for Tobey," laughed Garfield.

The 38-year old actor, who recently earned a Golden Globe nomination award for Tick, Tick…Boom! said he signed on to the film, after seeing that the intention behind having him and Maguire revive their respective Spideys felt “very pure” and offered a great creative idea.

“Again it's in a similar way to what Tobey was saying it was like 'Oh the intention feels very pure here.' It actually feels like a great creative idea and a great creative story it wasn't like they were just asking us to come and say 'hi' and then leave again but actually have us have our presence being in service to Tom you know, being in service to Tom’s journey and where he is as Peter Parker,” said Garfield.

“I love the destiny feeling of the multiverse expanding in this film, and actually, without Tobey’s Peter and Andrew’s Peter being present for Tom’s Peter at this very moment, he may not become the Peter Parker that he’s supposed to become… Getting three Spider-Men together could go one of two ways, and I think it’s a testament to these guys that it went the way that it went, which was a brotherhood, which is just beautiful,” he added.

Keeping the big twist a secret was not easy for Garfield, who had to do press tours for his other film projects and was constantly being asked about his and Maguire's rumored involvement. The actor admitted he had a bit of fun “fibbing” to people about the film despite all the rumors and leaks.

“I justified my unethical lying behavior,” he said. “I call it fibbing more than lying, but I kind of enjoyed it. It was quite fun, and it felt like that game Werewolf or Mafia where, you know, you’re the werewolf and you have to convince everyone that you’re not.”

All three Spider-Men agreed that the film felt like a culmination of 20 years of history, particularly for Holland, who at one point said that it felt like the end of the road for his own journey as Spider-Man.

“There definitely was a sense for me, as an actor, that this was the last time that I could potentially don the suit, so a lot of that emotion came from the act of saying goodbye, which is one of the biggest themes throughout this film. But this film also felt like a celebration of three generations of cinema,” said Holland.

But with the success of No Way Home and the renewed love for all things Spidey, does this third film really mark the end of Holland’s journey as Spider-Man?

“The truthful answer, and I’ve done a whole press tour where all I do is lie. The truth is, and you’re not going to like the truth, I don’t know the answer to that question,” said Holland.

“This film for me was as special as an experience could ever be. Sharing the screen with these guys. Playing Spider-Man could be quite an alienating experience because, you know, we’re the only three blokes who have done it. So, to share that with you two, it’s been such a wonderful experience, of which I have such amazing memories. I don’t know, there’s part of me that feels like it’s the perfect time to jump off the building and swing off into the sunset and let the next lucky young kid come in to don the suit, or I might, I don’t know, buy a new house and need a paycheque and I’ll be back,” Holland said.

“I know I love this character, and I know that I am not ready to say goodbye,” he added. “But if it’s time for me to say goodbye, then I will do so proudly, knowing that I’ve achieved everything I wanted to with this character, and sharing it with these boys will be forever one of the most special experiences of my career. So, if it’s time, it’s time. If it’s not, it’s not, but at the moment, I don’t know.”

Check out the exclusive 30-minute interview below reposted by the official Spider-Man YouTube channel.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently screening in cinemas in the Philippines.