Movies & TV

Tom Holland Speaks Out Against 'Ridiculous' Gendered Height Double Standard

The Spider-Man actor (and short king) doesn't think it's an issue that co-star Zendaya is taller than him.
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Tom Holland has received acclaim from fans and critics alike for his loveable performance as Peter Parker in the MCU's Spider-Man films. With the newest movie No Way Home expected to bring in characters from previous iterations of the franchise, comparisons between Holland and previous Spidey actors are sure to come up, but one thing is for sure: Holland is proud to be playing Spider-Man as a short king.

During a recent press interview on SiriusXM, host Jessica Shaw pointed out the "problematic" assumption that women should be shorter than their male partners in heterosexual relationships, referring specifically to the romantic on-screen pairing of Holland and Zendaya, who plays MJ. Holland responded by joking that Zendaya is "not that much taller" than him, then went on to explain that their height difference is not an issue.

"It's a stupid assumption," he says. "It's ridiculous. I remember when we were doing the Spider-Man screen tests, I mean, you'd have to ask [director] Jon Watts this question, but every girl we tested for both roles was taller than me. And I wonder whether that was a decision Jon had made, there was no one who tested that was shorter than I was. To be fair, I am quite short. So maybe that's a decision Jon Watts made, and something he was aware of, and he wanted to break the stereotype."

The conversation happened after Shaw brought up their kiss in Far From Home. Zendaya described it as a "sweet moment," and said she was happy that they didn't try to "cheat" by framing the scene so that Holland appeared taller than her.

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Their co-star Jacob Batalon summed up the discussion even more succinctly, saying: "It's not a weird thing for women to be tall."

FromEsquire UK

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About The Author
Philip Ellis
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.
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