7 Lessons Tom Holland Can Take From 'Billy Elliot'

by Emily Lackey

Please tell me that I wasn’t the only one who, upon hearing the news that Tom Holland had been cast as the next Spiderman, started spontaneously shouting, “BILLY!” at the top of my lungs and in an English accent? No? Just me? OK, fine. Just in case you were one of the thousands who, instead, heard the news and thought, "Wait, who is Tom Holland?," don’t worry. Holland hasn’t been in much aside from Billy Elliot The Musical and the 2012 film The Impossible. Plus, he was a baby back then, way too young to be considered for an adult lead. But, before you start thinking Peter Parker is going to be this kid’s big break, know that the music version of the film Billy Elliot, which premiered in London’s West End, went on to win a crap load of awards — 10 Tony awards, 10 Drama Desk Awards, and four Laurence Olivier Awards.

Point is, Holland is already kind of a big deal, and his experience playing Billy Elliot, a motherless child who chooses ballet over boxing, will only help him in playing Peter Parker. After all, the two characters have lost parents, have grown up being picked on by bullies, and have some crazy amazing agility. I’d even go out on a limb and say that Billy Elliot is probably the best precursor to playing Peter Parker for a number of reasons.

Need more proof? Check out the list below.

1. His Emotional Depth

It’s why everyone loves Billy Elliot, and why everyone will totally love Tom Holland as Peter Parker. There’s a fragility to both of these characters that he should totally capitalize on.

2. The Agility

Seriously, this can’t be overstated. The skills it takes to tap dance down a back alley are some of the same skills Spiderman is going to need to swing from buildings. Put that muscle memory to good use, Holland.

3. Coping Skills

It’s a tough life as a superhero, man. Peter Parker is going to need to let loose and swing free every now and then in order to deal with all of the pressure he faces. He can definitely take a page from Billy’s book when it comes to dealing with frustrations. Dance it out, man. Dance. It. Out.

4. Always Land On Your Feet

Both literally and figuratively here: Always land on your feet, because otherwise those villains are going to get you down, but also always land on your feet because, seriously, you can hurt yourself if you don’t.

5. Stretching Is Super Important

Before and after, Parker. Otherwise you’ll tear a muscle, and who is going to save Mary Jane Watson?

6. Always Be Yourself

Follow your dreams, work for what you believe in, and don’t let anyone else talk you out of it. No matter how many times people make fun of your glasses.

7. It’s OK to Sometimes Be Weak

It’s how you get stronger. Plus, no one is perfect. Everybody has a vulnerable side. Like Peter Parker’s super power. Spiderweb, really? That’s, like, inherently flawed for sure.

Personally, I'm already willing to believe that Billy Elliot was a big part of the reason Marvel and Sony chose Holland to be the next Peter Parker. The lessons he learned when embodying the titular character will make him the best and purest superhero in the MCU. Watch out, Captain America.

Image: Giphy (6); Universal (2)