Tom Holland is, without a doubt ruling our hearts. The actor, who plays Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, turns 25 today, and we are impressed at all that he had achieved. But the journey to reaching this place wasn’t easy. In fact, during his primary school days, the actor was bullied for taking ballet lesson for a role he wanted.
In a 2017 conversation with his Spider-Man co-star Zendaya, Holland spoke about learning ballet when he was around 10 and being bullied because of it. Read all he said below.
As carried by Interview Magazine, Zendaya began the interview by saying, “I’m going to keep it real simple,” and asked her Spider-Man co-star what he wanted to be when he was a kid. Tom Holland replied, “I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. My mom thought I could dance because I used to dance to this Janet Jackson song she’d play when I was a baby.”
Continuing further, Tom Holland added, “Then she would take me to a Saturday dance school. I used to go every week and got spotted by a scout, who suggested I audition for the role of Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical. When I first started auditioning, I was too small and I couldn’t dance. I went to an all-boys school, where I played rugby, so ballet wasn’t the coolest thing to do.”
When asked by Zendaya if the kids at his school were mean to him because of it, Tom Holland said, “I think it toughened me up. I loved doing ballet.” Talking about finally getting the part in Billy Elliot the Musical and how ballet helped him, the birthday boy said, “I trained for two years. I auditioned every six months for Billy Elliot and got slightly bigger every time I went, and eventually, I got the job. I’m very happy I had that training. It’s been so valuable to my career, and I’ve used it on almost everything I’ve done since.”
While talking about being bullied, Tom Holland had told GQ in a 2019 interview, “I would do it in the school gym at lunchtimes by myself, in tights, with a teacher. So you have kids looking through the windows. To a bunch of 10-year-olds who all play rugby, Tom Holland doing ballet in the gym isn’t that cool.” But he added, “Uh, you know, that’s fine. It’s just what I had to do if I wanted to get this job.”
Well, that’s motivation and dedication. Happy Birthday, Tom.