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Tom Hollander says he was once sent seven-figure cheque meant for Spider-Man’s Tom Holland

Star of BBC series ‘The Night Manager’ and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise said similarities between his name and the Spider-Man actor’s had caused chaos in the past

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 25 January 2024 01:00 GMT
Tom Holland accidentally spoils Avengers: Endgame

Tom Hollander has joked that it has been “very difficult” to deal with the confusion between him and Marvel star Tom Holland, particularly when he accidentally gets sent royalty cheques meant for the younger British actor.

Hollander, 56, is known for roles in films including the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Bafta-winning BBC series The Night Manager, in which he starred opposite Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie and Olivia Colman.

Meanwhile, Holland, 27, rose to international fame when he was cast as the comic-book superhero Spider-Man, playing the role in six blockbuster MCU films including Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Addressing “the elephant in the room”, late-night host Seth Meyer asked Hollander whether he was often confused with the action star.

“Yeah, it’s been very difficult,” Hollander answered, “’cause, you know, I was here first. But he’s enormously famous.”

Clarifying that he “obviously” wasn’t mistaken for Holland in person, the British actor said their similar names still caused chaos on occasion.

“I’m introduced to somebody’s very excited, then very confused and disappointed children,” he said. “And people in the accounts department of my agency got confused.”

Tom Hollander says people often get confused between him and fellow British actor, Tom Holland (Getty)

Explaining that he and Holland were briefly with the same agency, he recalled the “terrible” moment where he was visiting a friend doing a stage show and feeling smug, because he’d been paid £30,000 for a BBC show.

Unfortunately, his smugness was wiped away when he opened his phone during the interval to check his emails, and found a message from his agency informing him that his first box-office bonus from The Avengers had come through.

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“It was an astonishing amount of money,” Hollander said. “It was not his salary, it was his first box-office bonus. Not the whole box-office bonus, the first one. And it was more money than I’d ever... it was a seven-figure sum.

“He was 20, or something. So my feeling of smugness that you remember I had in the first half disappeared completely. But that’s showbiz!”

From left: Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Debicki, Olivia Colman and Tom Hollander in ‘The Night Manager’ (Mitch Jenkins/BBC)

In a recent interview, Holland praised his Marvel co-stars for their guidance as he progresses in his acting career.

Speaking to SAG-AFTRA Foundation, he credited co-stars Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch for their honesty: “Downey is very honest... sometimes a little too honest,” he said.

“I really respect Downey’s opinion. He taught me so much, I always sing his praises. I love the guy. I admire him.”

Holland and Zendaya attend the premiere of ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ in December (Getty Images)

However, Holland said it is his girlfriend Zendaya, who plays Spider-Man’s love interest MJ in the Marvel films, that he trusts to be “the most honest” with him about his performances.

“Zendaya is probably the most honest with me,” he said. “Which I love, ‘cause you need that.”

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