Tom Holland has come a long way since he starred in Billy Elliot the Musical in 2008. His mom started him out at dance school, and after two years of ballet training and auditioning every six months for the role, he grew taller and landed the job. He spent three years at London’s Victoria Palace Theater playing Billy Elliot. He credits his parents for their industry experience in helping to put him in the right place at the right time, along with the skills he needed for succeeding in the entertainment industry. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he’d been a huge fan of Spider-Man since he was a kid. He estimated that he’d worn 30 Spider-Man costumes since he was a baby, but his bed also sported Spider-Man sheets.
Holland started auditioning for Spider-Man when he was around 18 years old, and over five months, he completed eight auditions, five self-made videos featuring himself doing backflips, and screen tests with both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. He told Zendeya for Interview that his desire to get the part grew the more he auditioned- just like it had when he auditioned for Billy Elliot the Musical.
Holland’s dog Tessa was with him when he discovered that he was going to be the new teenage Spider-Man. The two were sitting together on his bed in London when he found the news posted on Instagram. He described what happened next as him going crazy and his dog having a fit. It wasn’t until later that Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige called him to tell him the news. It was 2015 when he became the teenager Peter Parker and stepped into the Marvel Universe.
Tessa is a Blue Staffy pit bull. Holland admits that Blue Staffies are thought of as highly dangerous dogs, but he completely debunked that myth by announcing that they are not dangerous or even aggressive. He described his own Tessa as being one of the most sweet and angelic dogs ever. Not only was Tessa with him when he got the news that he would portray Peter Parker in Spider-Man, but she’s become a regular presence with him at all sorts of press events. Tessa takes limo rides with Holland, as befitting a star of her stature. Tessa is equally at home with Holland during interviews and she loves staying in hotels with him, too.
Holland admitted that he’s good with animals, and Tessa does enjoy playing catch or being with him for tea. He takes her on “dates” with him and feeds her treats when she does tricks like shaking hands well. Most often, he’ll find Tessa curled up on his bed. She’s not supposed to be there, but when he can’t find her anywhere else in the house, he’ll head to the bedroom and find her looking appropriately guilty because she knows she’s not supposed to be there. She’s also an important part of movie nights at home.
When interviewed for The Pit Bull Press, Holland mentioned that he started bringing her along to press events because it’s something he had always wanted to do. At her first big press outing in London, Tessa went along with Holland to promote Spider-Man: Homecoming. She was originally frightened by the cameras and lights, but she quickly become the center of attention. Fans seem to adore her just as much as they love Holland. Tessa’s been seen on Instagram wearing her very own Spider-Dog costume, which not only garnered her more than 743,000 likes but plenty of “she’s adorable” comments for Holland’s favorite princess.
Holland’s love affair with Tessa has been chronicled on Instagram from the very beginning when he introduced her to the world as the newest family member. She was perched on his shoulder and the post gathered more than 33,000 likes and more than 800 comments. Since that first adorable photo, she’s been part of Holland’s Instagram life ever since. He even visits with her on FaceTime when he can’t bring her along.
At the same time as Holland’s life with Tessa is very public on Instagram, controversy swirls around who he may be dating. Though rumors are flying, he’s managing to keep his personal life very private, and fans are quite settled with enjoying every detail about his love for Tessa. The actor from Kingston upon Thames is reportedly enjoying millionaire status while living simply with Tessa and his family. His Instagram Story revealing Tessa as his girlfriend was so sweet that it’s easy to forget every gossip to the contrary.
For now, fans can’t wait for Holland’s next Spider-Man movies. Holland has two upcoming Spider-Man films scheduled for release this year. Avengers: Endgame has a scheduled release date of April 26, 2019 and Spider-Man: Far From Home is scheduled for July 5, 2019.