Marvel superhero Tom Holland says he is taking a year off from acting to look after his mental health, after having a “tough time” while working on his latest project, The Crowded Room.
In the series, Holland plays a character loosely inspired by infamous campus rapist Billy Milligan — a man who famously claimed to have 24 distinct personalities after being arrested in 1979 — who became the first person to be acquitted on the grounds of dissociative identity disorder.
While promoting the Apple TV+ thriller series — which he has also produced — the actor revealed that he had been juggling responsibilities. “It was a tough time, for sure. We were exploring certain emotions that I have definitely never experienced before. And then on top of that, being a producer, dealing with the day-to-day problems that come with any film set, just added that extra level of pressure,” he said.
“I loved the learning curve of becoming a producer,” Holland said. However, he added that the show broke him. “There came a time when I was sort of like I need a break.
“I am now taking a year off and that is the result of how difficult this show was. I am excited to see how it turns out. I feel like our hard work wasn’t in vain,” Holland explained.
While speaking to Entertainment Weekly, the actor said the series had left him struggling to extract himself from the role, and that he even considered shaving his head to “get rid” of the character.
“I was seeing myself in him, but in my personal life. I remember having a bit of a meltdown at home and thinking, like, ‘I’m going to shave my head. I need to shave my head because I need to get rid of this character’,” he said. “And obviously, we were mid-shooting, so I decided not to. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”
The Spider-man star added that the show has changed his perspective on his own mental health. “Learning about mental health and the power of it, and speaking to psychiatrists about Danny and Billy’s struggles, has been something that has been so informative to my own life.”
The actor added that he is now able to “recognise triggers” like social media “that stress me out.” He has previously spoken about social media taking a toll on his mental health, due to which last year, he left social media for his sanity.
The Crowded Room is created by Akiva Goldsman and Todd Graff and it is set to premiere on June 9 on Apple TV+.