‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ has just released in NZ cinemas, giving fans the chance to see Tom Holland grace the screen as their beloved Spider-Man once again - this time with an international back-drop, with scenes set in London, Venice, Prague, Berlin and the Netherlands.
With Peter Parker taking what he thinks will be a holiday to Europe, resulting in Spider-Man taking on a whole new evil - and Zendaya returning as MJ, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury... as well as the introduction of Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio.
Read our Q&A with Tom Holland below…
Q: Has Peter Parker grown up at all?
TOM HOLLAND: I think we are seeing a very similar Peter Parker to the one we saw in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'. I really enjoyed in the first one the aspect of seeing a teen with superpowers, I really want that to come across again. He is still a 16-year-old, who just wants to enjoy himself.
Q: What has come as a surprise with the sequel?
TOM: The fact that we get to shoot it in London was a nice surprise. The first one was 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' and I shot it thousands of miles away and this one is called 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' and I'm forty minutes from my home. I am actually not staying at my home; it's still a bit of a drive to set. The script presented this massive-scale movie, but it was also a pleasure to read something that you know will surprise the audience too.
Q: How do you feel about doing nearly all your own stunts?
TOM: I don't do everything. There are some things that I just can't do and I am very happy for my double to do it if he can do it better. If there is a version of the stunt where it just looks better with him doing it, then he should do it for the sake of the movie. But sometimes there are things where we can just rehearse it and work really hard. I don't know if you saw the pole running stunt I did today, well there was one which was way impressive. We were just able to rehearse it for weeks and weeks meaning I was able to do it. We tried so hard to get it in one shot and I hope we did. I love doing my own stunts. It comes with a nice adrenaline rush. If it makes the film better, then I am all for it.
Q: Is there anything in particular that you are really excited for fans to see?
TOM: The action is bigger than the first one for sure. But the film is definitely bigger than the first one. The action in the first one we were able to keep it quite contained, I don't feel like it was a worldwide event. This one, with Spider-Man unable to keep these events a secret, is far more global after the events of 'Avengers: Endgame'. So the spotlight really is on Spider-Man, whereas in the first one I felt he was flying under the radar, which was quite nice.
Q: What is the dynamic like with Nick Fury and what has working with Samuel L. Jackson been like?
TOM: Working with Sam is great, really, really fun. I have been such a big fan of his, not just since the beginning of the MCU but very early on in my life with 'Pulp Fiction'. It is an interesting character to see on the screen with Peter Parker, because obviously Peter is kind of upbeat and Nick Fury is so scary; kind of like Robert Downey Jr. just without the sass. What can I say, it's been a fun ride.
Q: What is Peter’s relationship like with MJ?
TOM: It's really cool. We get to see in more detail a relationship blossom than we did in the first one between Peter and Liz. It's been fun, really fun. MJ's character is the same as she was in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming', but we are just exploring it more. And I think audiences will really connect with her and the way that Zendaya is playing the role will broaden the amount of people who can relate to her character.
Q: How has it been working with Jake Gyllenhaal? You seem to be surrounded by “veterans” all the time.
TOM: I am very lucky with the people I get to work with. I have these meetings with my agent every year - we sit down and go through a list of actors I would like to work with and a list of directors I would like to work with and Jake has already been on the list. So the fact that we get to do it in this circumstance is fantastic. He's amazing. Every actor I have ever worked with has a switch. When they say action you can tell that they are acting. But Jake doesn’t have that. He’s seamless in and out of character. Sometimes it is quite disconcerting because you think he’s just talking to you, then you realise he is doing the scene right now. I have learned a lot.
Q: Do you feel you need to up your game when you are with somebody like that?
TOM: You find that with acting it is similar to playing tennis. If you are playing tennis against someone who is really good you sort of rise up. You try your best to play better. It is a similar sort of thing with acting. When you are working with someone who is that good, it makes you think more about minor details you have made for the character and you try and piece things together. It has been a real privilege to work with him.
Q: What was your reaction to the new Stealth Suit?
TOM: It is great because I have more access and I can take my mask off. And it looks so badass. Really, really cool. It's a really cool one because it is such a different avenue to take with a character like Spider-Man. He wears red and blue. And that is kind of it in this film. And for us to take him down this different path is definitely something audiences will be very excited about.
Q: What has been your favourite scene so far?
TOM: We shot this very funny scene between Jacob, Zendaya and me, all one shot and it is sort of midway through the film and it is very stressful. It is really funny, I can't tell you anything about the scene, because it is kind of a spoiler, but Jacob is so funny. I remember Zendaya and I were off camera for Jacob's close-up and we may as well not have been there because we were laughing so much. I just turned around at one point Jacob was making me laugh so much.
Q: Is there a lot of improvisation within that group dynamic?
TOM: Jon is such a great director to work for because he allows you to do a 20-minute take of absolute nonsense, but that 30 seconds at the end could be gold. He really does create and environment where his actors can make mistakes creatively, which sometimes directors don't do. Which is nice on a film of this scale he is not afraid to go, "Oh no, let's do it 20 times to see it we can get it right."
Q: How has it been contending with a different kind of villain this year?
TOM: Yeah, it's interesting, because when Jon first pitched me the idea, I thought, wow, fighting big monstrous elemental creatures that is a big jump from the Vulture. But when you see the effects and what they are planning to do with these monsters it really is quite a breathtaking feat. Peter Parker has the same thought as I had when I found out it was monsters — he really doesn't understand what is going on, and how Spidey can defeat them in this post 'Avengers: Endgame' world. It is not until later when he is hanging out with Nick Fury and Maria Hill and then Mysterio that they team together to piece together this crazy thing that is going on. The Elemental Creatures are definitely an exciting version of the villain.
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is out in NZ cinemas now - watch the trailer below…