Spider-Man star Tom Holland considers acting exit in ‘mid-life crisis’

<span>Photograph: Vickie Flores/EPA</span>
Photograph: Vickie Flores/EPA

Actor mulls over returning to dancing roots while promoting latest Marvel instalment

The Spider-Man star, Tom Holland, has revealed he is considering quitting acting at the age of 25 as part of a premature “mid-life crisis”.

Holland, who was promoting the latest instalment of the Marvel series, said he was considering giving up acting to return to his dancing roots, after he played Billy Elliott on the West End as a child.

“I don’t even know if I want to be an actor,” he told Sky News in an interview to promote his new film.

“I started acting when I was 11 and I haven’t done anything else, so I’d like to go and do other things. Genuinely, I’m sort of … having a midlife crisis – at 25, I’m having like a pre-midlife crisis.”

The actor revealed this week that he has signed up to play Fred Astaire in an upcoming biopic, a move that could signal the beginning of his career shift.

Holland acknowledged a debt to the Spider-Man franchise in enabling him to “do some amazing things”. The latest film, No Way Home, is expected to be the biggest of the year – possibly ever – with pre-sales outstripping that of Avengers: Endgame (2019) ahead of its UK release on 15 December.

Holland is not the first actor to tire quickly of the profession. Greta Garbo announced a “temporary” retirement at the age of 36 in 1941, while she was still one of the biggest box office draws in the world, which lasted 49 years – until her death in 1990.

Although it’s not fully understood why, Garbo is believed to have been a private, introverted person who struggled with the spotlight cast on her through fame, and who perhaps pre-empted the declining opportunities at the time for female actors as their youthful beauty faded.

More recently, the Game of Thrones star Jack Gleeson retired after the series finished. He told Entertainment Weekly that he had been acting since he was 8 and had “stopped enjoying it as much as I used to”. He said that earning a living from acting had changed his relationship with his craft compared with the “therapeutic” benefits he had enjoyed when it was just a hobby. He subsequently enrolled in a theology and philosophy degree at Trinity College Dublin.

Gleeson’s shift to academia is perhaps more unusual than Holland’s mooted move, since there is infamously a revolving door between different branches of the arts. Pop stars who have abandoned recording studios in favour of Hollywood include Will Smith, Lady Gaga and Jennifer Hudson.