Credit: Article title photo by David Barker.
Note: Tom’s final performance as Billy in London was May 29, 2010
Debut: September 8, 2008 (London)
Total Performances as Billy: Unknown (Unreported data from the period he was Billy) (Recorded data: 151.75 — includes 5 partial shows credited @ .5 ea + 1 partial show credited @ .25)
Tom Holland’s last performance as Billy, in the London production of Billy Elliot the Musical, took place on Saturday, May 29, 2010, just a couple of days shy of his 14th birthday and after 21 months in the role.
Tom, who retired as the senior Billy on the London stage, was born on June 1, 1996 and is from Kingston, England. He started dancing at a hip hop class on Saturday afternoons at a studio called Nifty Feet in Wimbledon. He was spotted at age 10, at a dance show in Richmond, by Billy Elliot talent scouts who would constantly scour the country looking for potential Billys. They invited him to audition for the musical.
Up to that point, Tom’s emphasis had been in street dance and acrobatics. While those conducting the auditions loved how accomplished he was in these skills and for his outgoing personality and stage presence, they suggested that he take ballet lessons in order to be a viable candidate for the role of Billy.
Eight auditions and two years later he was finally offered a role in the show. But he took an unusual path to finally attain his goal of being Billy Elliot. On June 28, 2008, Tom made his West End debut – not as Billy, but as Billy’s best friend Michael. It wasn’t until September 8, 2008 that Tom finally debuted as Billy.
In a series of videos on the official Billy Elliot the Musical London website, various cast and crew members are introduced to the public. In one, Tom talks about what it’s like to play Billy:
Credit: Video by WestEndTheatre
He was considered a “street/acro” Billy because most of his choreography in the show demonstrated that style of dance. Tom was known for his agility and his gravity defying acrobatic flips, including a “no hands” forward flip and his signature backward flip while walking up a wall which ended the show’s signature dance number called “Electricity”. That maneuver never failed to elicit gasps from appreciative audiences at the show.
Early on in his stint as Billy, with all of four shows as Billy under his belt, Tom did his first interview on a local British TV news program, along with another soon-to-be Billy, Tanner Pflueger. A highlight of that interview was when Tom and Tanner, asked by the reporter what their Geordi accents sound like, demonstrated by singing in turn, acapella, the opening words of the musical’s signature song “Electricity”.
Credit: Video by sleepylins
Tom did many interviews and TV appearances in the almost two years he was in the show, including this appearance on March 11, 2010 with Fox Jackson-Keen and Dean Charles Chapman on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show:
Credit: Video by Tom Holland Latinoamerica
To know Tom is to know his bubbly personality and his great sense of humor. One newspaper reporter found that out first hand when, during an interview, she asked Tom where his talent comes from. His reply: “My mum and dad joke about who I take after. I’ve seen them both dance and I have to say, there must have been a mix up at the hospital.” All agree there was no mix up when the creative team of Billy Elliot the Musical decided that Tom Holland should be one of their Billys.
When Tom took his final bow as Billy, there was no doubt that he would go on to have a stellar career in the performing arts.
For more information on Tom Holland visit:
Life After Billy
2010 – In July of 2010, Tom auditioned for a starring role in the film The Impossible, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona. The movie, which was released in 2012, is set in Thailand and takes place in 2004 during an Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. It is based on a true story.
2011 – Tom performed in a British film The Secret World of Arrietty in which he provided the voice over for Sho, the main character.
2012 – This was a very busy year for Tom. He completed his GCSEs successfully as a student at Wimbledon College. He then started at the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology for a two-year course in September of 2012.
Filmed in 2010, The Impossible, Tom’s breakout role, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2012, and was also released in Europe and North America later in the year. On October 17, 2012 he received the Hollywood Spotlight Award for The Impossible.
Credit: Video by Tom Holland Nation
The awards continued. On December 6 of 2012, Tom won the National Board of Review award in the “Breakthrough Actor” category. The end of December brought Tom the year’s Best Youth Performance in Nevada Critics’ Awards.
Tom also received a number of nominations in December for The Impossible to include: for the 18th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Best Young Actor category; for Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Most Promising Performer category; for the 27th Goya Awards in Best New Actor category; for D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards Best Youth Performance category; for London Film Critics Circle Awards Young British Performer of the Year category. Tom was featured in the Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow – 2012, and also in Variety’s Youth Impact Report.
2013 – Tom played the starring role of Isaac in the feature film How I Live Now “where an American girl, sent to England with relatives, finds love while fighting to survive with war around her.”
In July of 2013, Tom took the part of Boy in Moments, a short Drama about a “young man saying his last goodbyes to his girlfriend and talking about the moments they shared.”
2014 – In April 2014, Tom played Eddie in Locke, which is about a family man and construction manager who gets a phone call that threatens his carefully set up life. Along with many past Billys, Tom was involved in a special Finale in Billy Elliot Live on November 12, 2014.
2015 – In January of 2015, Tom played Gregory Cromwell in the BBC TV series Wolf Hall, based on the bestselling book by Hilary Mantel “documenting the rapid rise to power of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII to the death of Sir Thomas More.”
And then came the event which has been the most important of his performance career to date. Tom was selected, from a very talented group of young actors, to become the beloved Peter Parker/Spider-Man for Sony and Marvel Films. With his selection, he became the first actor to play Peter Parker in Spider-Man who was actually a teenager at the time of casting. He turned 19 just before they formally announced him. With that announcement Tom Holland became a household name across America and the world.
And then, in a film released in December of 2015, Tom played young Thomas Nickerson, the cabin boy in In The Heart of the Sea — an adventure-drama based on a 2000 non-fiction book by Nathaniel Philbrick about the sinking of an American whaling ship, the Essex, in 1820, which inspired the novel Moby Dick. In his round of interviews for this film, Tom was asked about what his auditioning was like for the role of Spider-Man:
Credit: Video by Tom Holland Nation
2016 – On May 6, 2016 Tom played the role of Spider-Man for the first time in a film: Captain America: Civil War, to generally very positive reviews.
Later that year, in August, he was Bradley Baker in Edge of Winter, a tense drama about “two brothers stranded by a winter storm with an unpredictable father they barely know.”
2017 – In 2017 Tom starred as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming, portraying the webslinger for the first time in a full-length stand alone Spider-Man film.
In March of 2017, Tom played Jack Fawcett in The Lost City of Z, a true-life drama about British explorer Major Percival Fawcett who disappeared in 1920 looking for a mysterious city in the Amazon.
In August of 2017, Tom played Brother Diarmuid The Novice in Pilgrimage, where a group of monks escort a sacred relic across 13th century Ireland.
During 2017, Tom also found time to appear on TV show Lip Sync Battle, where he performed a now infamous routine to a mash-up of Singin’ in the Rain and Rihanna’s Umbrella:
Credit: Video by Comedy Central Latinoamérica
2018 – In 2018 Tom was Spider-Man in Avengers: Infinity War.
2019 – Avengers: Endgame, released in April of 2019, brought Tom back for another chapter of the Spider-Man story. Then, in July, Spider-Man: Far From Home was released, showcasing Tom as Spider-Man in his second standalone full length film in the role.
Credit: Video by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Also in 2019 in the animated movie Spies in Disguise, Tom provided the voice of Walter, a character who learns how to transform people into pigeons.
2020 – The first half of 2020 was a very busy time for Tom. In January, the film Dolittle was released. It’s a story about a physician who can talk to animals who embarks on an adventure to find a legendary island with a young apprentice and a crew of strange pets. In the film Tom provides the voice of Jip, Dolittle’s dog.
Then, in March, Tom again provided his voice while playing a starring role as Ian Lightfoot in the Pixar animated film Onward, about two elven brothers trying to bring their father back for one day.
As 2020 continues, Tom is very involved in several films which are in various stages of completion.
- The Devil All the Time is a drama/thriller expected to be released sometime in 2020. In it he plays Arvin Russell in the 1960’s after WWII in Southern Ohio. The film deals with psychological damage from the war.
- Tom will star as an army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who becomes a serial bank robber after a drug addiction puts him in debt. The movie is called Cherry, directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, and is currently in post production. It is expected to be released later in 2020.
- Another film currently in post production and expected to be released in January of 2021 is a Sci-Fi adventure called Chaos Walking. In it Tom plays Todd Hewitt, a boy living on the distant planet of New World described as a “dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.”
- For non gaming readers, a little background about another Tom Holland film which is currently in pre-production and expected to be released in July of 2021…
Uncharted is an action-adventure game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles. The main series of games follows Nathan Drake, a treasure hunter who travels across the world to uncover various historical mysteries. There will be a film by the same name which has been described as a prequel to the games. It will star Tom Holland as a younger Drake and showing how he came to meet and befriend Sully.
- And finally, it’s been announced that a third full length standalone (but as yet untitled) Spider-man film, starring Tom Holland, will be filmed with an expected release date of November, 2021.