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‘Spider-Man’s’ Tom Holland on ‘Stealing’ From Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Responding to Fan Backlash

When Marvel Studios announced that British actor Tom Holland was set to play Spider-Man last June, some fans objected and criticized the casting by saying he was too young for the web-slinging role. The negative comments and backlash have only fueled Holland to work harder.

“Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and it just gives me more motivation to prove them wrong when I do start shooting the movie,” Holland told Variety at the premiere of his latest film, “In the Heart of the Sea,” in New York on Monday. “And hopefully I will and it would be good fun.”

Holland’s “In the Heart of the Sea” director, Ron Howard, has no doubt that the 19-year-old will deliver a crowd-pleasing performance as Spider-Man.

“Tom has the best qualities. He’s energetic, he’s charismatic and he impressed us every day with his strong work ethic,” Howard told Variety. “He has a great combination of physical ability and his willingness to throw himself into situations and still be connected to a character emotionally in ways that rings true.”

The young actor, who starred along with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor in the 2012 tsunami drama “The Impossible,” is set to make his debut in “Captain America: Civil War,” on May 6, 2016 and in Sony Pictures’ stand-alone “Spider-Man” reboot scheduled to be released on July 28, 2017. When asked what it feels like to wear the iconic red and blue spandex suit, he quickly replied, “I can’t comment on that,” but teased that his version of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man will be special compared to the other adaptations.

“The only difference I’m going to tell you is that I’m way younger, and at the moment, there’s going to be both things from Tobey [Maguire] and Andrew’s [Garfield] character that I’m going to steal,” said Holland. “But there’s one very specific path that [director] Jon [Watts] and I agree on and we’d like to take the character down and explore his background.”

One thing Holland can talk about in detail is when he found out he had won the coveted role.

“I auditioned and waited and waited for months. When I got the call that I received the part, there was a lot of screaming. My whole family and I were screaming and we were so excited,” he said. “My poor dog Tess was scared from all the jumping and screaming. It was one of the happiest days of my life. I’m still very happy. Sometimes I have to pinch myself and ask, ‘Do I really have the honor to play Spider-Man? Am I dreaming?'”

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