Tom Holland Recalls 1 “Really scary” Scene in Apple TV Thriller That Could Put Even James McAvoy’s ‘Split’ To Shame

Tom Holland had to film a scene in The Crowded Room that proved to be more emotionally challenging than James McAvoy's work in Split.

Tom Holland Recalls 1 “Really scary” Scene in Apple TV Thriller That Could Put Even James McAvoy’s ‘Split’ To Shame


  • James McAvoy and Tom Holland have both immersed themselves in characters with multiple personalities.
  • Tom Holland's role In The Crowded Room was so demanding he had to take a break, while McAvoy had to consult medical professionals to prepare for his part in Split.
  • The Crowded Room creator Akiva Goldsman remarked that Holland carried a huge burden for his role of Danny Sullivan.
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Hollywood stars often go to extreme lengths to immerse themselves into their characters in pursuit of delivering a performance that does justice to the storyline of the movie. After all, it’s not easy to put yourself in another person’s shoes without experiencing the same trials and tribulations.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man in the MCU
Tom Holland.

Conveying one individual’s life on the big screen at a time is already hard as it is, but there are actors like James McAvoy and Tom Holland who accepted the challenge of portraying characters with different alter egos in a single project and still managed to stun critics and viewers alike with their complex performances.

Read more: “I never really wanted this”: Tom Holland Details How He Broke into Hollywood When He Was Only 14-Years-Old


What James McAvoy Went Through During the Preparation for His Role in Split

James McAvoy starred in the 2016 horror mystery Split, which follows the story of Kevin Wendell Crumb, who suffers from dissociative identity disorder and has 23 alter egos. He kidnaps three girls, who must escape from his clutches before a frightful new 24th personality comes to the fore.

James McAvoy
James McAvoy.

To prepare for the role, which was initially planned for Joker star Joaquin Phoenix, McAvoy had to turn to medical professionals as well as YouTubers because he couldn’t find any real individual with multiple personality disorders willing to speak with him and share their everyday life experiences. He told Today:

“I spent a bit of time with some medical professionals, that was handy to an extent. What I really needed was to spend time with people with the ID (identity disorder), (but) I couldn’t find anybody that would sit and talk with me, unfortunately. What I did find really useful was diaries, really just for the day-to-day ins and outs of what it’s like to live with ID, and then vloggers (video bloggers), people who vlog. I found that YouTube was an incredible tool for people with the ID and a platform for them to project themselves positively into the world.”

Since Phoenix was the first choice and later pulled out of the movie, McAvoy prepared the role without taking much time and did a fine job with it. However, Tom Holland‘s portrayal in The Crowded Room was so demanding he had to take a break.


Read more: “Is Benedict crying at the coffee station”: Tom Holland Exposes Benedict Cumberbatch’s Secret That Made Him Love Crying Scenes

How Challenging Was the Filming of The Crowded Room for Tom Holland

Holland picked the mantle of portraying Danny Sullivan in the Apple+ psychological thriller series. The character was inspired by Daniel Keyes’ 1981 nonfiction book The Minds of Billy Milligan – a story about the first person to be found not guilty of a crime due to suffering from dissociative identity disorder.

Tom Holland in The Crowded Room
Tom Holland in The Crowded Room.

Playing Danny and his alter egos was certainly very challenging for the 27-year-old. Show creator Akiva Goldsman noted in an interview with Deadline that the star of the series had the heaviest burden of taking it all in and then living it for television. In fact, things got so grueling while doing one scene that he had to take a step back from filming. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he said:


“There’s a scene in the last episode which terrified me. Even the idea of doing it again now is really scary. It’s very intricate. The logistics of what we were trying to achieve, playing two people, one pretending to be the other, while having an internal argument in my head with the same two people in the crowded room. I just knew that I wanted to have as much energy as possible going into it, and the weight of the show, the responsibility of Akiva’s story, the schedule was just getting too much. I’m lucky that I’m in a stage in my career that when I ask for help, I get it, and I knew that I needed it.”

Apart from taking a week off during the filming of The Crowded Room Holland also took a year-long break once it was wrapped.

Read more: “He steals the movie for me”: Forget Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland Claims Robert Downey Jr. Stole the Show in Oppenheimer Which Could Win Him His First Oscar


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.