Tom Holland is gearing up for the highly anticipated release of his upcoming Apple TV+ series “The Crowded Room” but, in a hard-hitting interview, has opened up about the impact of the show on his mental health and revealed his turbulent personal journey to sobriety.
Men’s mental health is a pervasive issue that, at long last, seems to be making its way into the mainstream discourse. In a long-overdue change of attitudes, men from every corner of the world are opening up about their mental health struggles, from NRL stars to our very own founder.
Now, Hollywood heartthrobs and leading men are joining the swathes of men finally opening up. Hot on the heels of recent MCU signing Will Poulter getting real about his battle with body image, ‘Spider-Man’ actor Tom Holland has opened up about his own struggles with mental health, social media, and sobriety.
In his upcoming Apple TV show, The Crowded Room – a psychological drama centred around a 1979 shooting in New York – Holland takes on the challenging role of Danny Sullivan. Holland says the role pushed his boundaries as an actor; while fairly accustomed to the physical demands of action-packed blockbusters, this project presented a mental strain that made a lasting impact.
In preparation for the role, Holland worked closely with psychiatrists, immersing himself in his character’s mental state. As part of this process, however, Holland found himself delving into his own mental health, sparking the start of a profoundly introspective journey.
WATCH the trailer for Holland’s upcoming turn in The Crowded Room below.
Quickly learning the significance of being able to recognise triggers and manage personal stress, Holland now incorporates a number of techniques he learnt during preparation into his day-to-day life. In particular, he realised that the many pressures of social media were also such triggers…
Holland has been candid about the challenges that come with fame and how social media is, unsurprisingly, a real bottleneck for some of fame’s most punishing aspects. During a social media hiatus, he highlighted the dangerous aspects of these platforms:
“I have taken a break from social media for my mental health because I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming… I get caught up, and I spiral when I read things about me online, and ultimately, it’s very detrimental to my mental state.”Tom Holland
The actor has since returned to social media in careful moderation, using it exclusively to promote charitable causes and provide updates on his various projects.
While Holland has been incredibly vocal about his mental health, he’s been a little less forthcoming about his journey to sobriety. In a previous appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Holland expressed his desire to cut back on his drinking after a noticeable spike during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdowns.
This week, however, the actor revealed that he’s been completely sober for over a year. Though he was presented with an unexpected test of willpower when an unknowing Ryan Reynolds sent a case of expensive gin to his Hollywood home, the actor has remained steadfast.
Though I’ve definitely got time for the more cynical readers out there who might find Holland’s shameless intertwining of his mental health “reveal” with a big PR push for his upcoming show to be a little nauseating, I think it’s still a very good thing on balance.
Given how widely recognised Holland is – particularly amongst the adolescent segment of Generation Z – it’s encouraging to see such a revered figure speaking so candidly about mental health, no matter how much money may be bound up in the decision to go public – men’s mental health needs to be on the agenda one way or another, that’s a non-negotiable.