Tom Holland, the actor best known for portraying Spider-Man in the Marvel films and action hero Nathan Drake in the Uncharted franchise, has revealed he has been sober for more than a year.
In a May 9 interview with Entertainment Weekly about his upcoming Apple TV+ series The Crowded Room, Holland said for the first time publicly that he has been sober for 16 months, and discussed how his role in the series has helped him better understand his own mental health.
“Learning about mental health and the power of it, and speaking to psychiatrists about [the role], has been something that has been so informative to my own life," Holland said, particularly about recognizing triggers and sources of stress.
Created by filmmaker Akiva Goldsman, The Crowded Room is a 10-episode psychological thriller based upon the 1981 novel The Minds of Billy Milligan. Holland portrays Danny Sullivan, who is arrested after a 1979 shooting in New York City, and discusses with an interrogator (Amanda Seyfried) the factors that led to the incident.
Holland will star in and executive produce The Crowded Room, which will debut on June 9. After nine months of filming, Holland said it took some time for him to recover from the “mental aspect” of the shoot, and that he had trouble detaching himself from the role, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“I was seeing myself in him, but in my personal life,” Holland said. “I remember having a bit of a meltdown at home and thinking, like, ‘I’m going to shave my head. I need to shave my head because I need to get rid of this character.’ And, obviously, we were mid-shooting, so I decided not to. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.”
While Holland has not publicly addressed his sobriety before, he has been open about discussing his mental health in the past. In August 2022, he released an Instagram video announcing a break from social media “for my mental health.”
“I have taken a break from social media for my mental health because I find Instagram and Twitter to be overstimulating, to be overwhelming,” Holland said in the video. “I get caught up, and I spiral when I read things about me online, and, ultimately, it’s very detrimental to my mental state, so I decided to take a step back and delete the app.”
In December 2021, Holland said he was “having a midlife crisis at 25,” and suggested he might take a break from acting. He has also made remarks in the past that he might try other professions, like carpentry, something he briefly trained in and enjoyed.
“I don’t even know if I want to be an actor,” Holland told Sky News. “I started acting when I was 11, and I haven’t done anything else, so I’d like to go and do other things.” He also told GQ magazine: “I definitely don’t think I want to be an actor for the rest of my life.”
Holland has always been candid in discussing his mental health. When he announced his social media break, he highlighted the charity Stem4, which he sponsors with his Brothers Trust foundation. Stem4 designs mental health apps that offer education programs aimed at helping young people cope with anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, and more.
“There is an awful stigma against mental health, and I know that asking for help and seeking help isn’t something that we should be ashamed of, but it is something that is much easier said than done,” Holland said in the video.
More recently, Holland said he hoped The Crowded Room would help viewers have more respect and sympathy for people experiencing mental health problems: “I hope that people will feel educated about the powers of mental health, the struggles, [and] our incredible abilities to survive.”
Watch The Crowded Room on Apple TV+
The Crowded Room will debut on June 9 on Apple TV+. The 10-episode limited series was created by Akiva Goldsman and stars Tom Holland, Amanda Seyfried, Emmy Rossum, Sasha Lane, and Will Chase.
Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.