Tom Holland is now set to swing with Marvel Studios/Sony for the long haul after donning the webbed mask of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War. However, his next film is a kind of throwback to a different kind of Hollywood epic made in yesteryear. The tale of a father (Charlie Hunnam) and later his son (Holland), The Lost City of Z follows Englishmen who explored the jungles of Bolivia at their own peril while looking for a mysterious, ancient ruin. And when making an old school, 35mm adventure like that, period costumes are required, far-flung locations are an absolute must, and if you get hurt, you’re a long way from the medical aid stationed at any Atlanta soundstage.
Holland is all too aware of those challenges and obstacles. While taking the New York Film Festival stage alongside The Lost City of Z director James Gray and co-stars Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, and Angus Macfadyen, Holland revealed how he broke his nose on the last day of filming in the literal jungles of Colombia… and how exactly Marvel Studios reacted when they heard the news.
After being set-up by his director (and a collapsing stage chair) to tell that story, Holland leaned back in his new seat and admitted, “So I broke my nose on this movie in a not very heroic way. It was my last day of shooting, it was my last shot, in fact. And I had a fake moustache because, obviously, I’m a child and can’t grow a moustache yet. But James, because it was our last day, said, ‘Could I have your phone and look at some of the photos of your experiences in Colombia.’”
From there, as Holland tells it, the director witnessed a video of the Spider-Man star doing a backflip on a beach and claimed that he could not do that at all—implicitly challenging him to do it again right there. In Gray’s defense, he did interject that he meant it as a joke. Remarking that he saw a wall-flip that reminded him of Donald O’Connor’s “Make ‘Em Laugh” stunts in Singin in the Rain, Gray explained, “So he does that, and I say, jokingly, you didn’t do that. That’s CGI. That’s camera tricks and mirrors.” But when Holland actually began the maneuver, it was a freeze framed nightmare for his director. “It was sort of like a slow-motion ‘Nooo’ where you have period boots on and are doing this flip in the jungle.”
Agreeing that the boots on the jungle floor made this a bad idea, Holland also explained in detail how the accident ended with a trip with him going to a foreign hospital with a situation that sounds reminiscent of Lost in Translation.
“So I stood up, I had these stupid leather boots on, I tried to do a backflip, and just broke my face,” Holland continued as the audience laughed. “I mean, I’ve been a gymnast since I was a little kid. It’s been years since I haven’t really landed one, and I remember hitting my face on the floor and going, ‘Shit! That didn’t happen.’ I stood up, I thought I knocked my teeth out, and the makeup artist was laughing at me. And when she saw my face, it went from ‘Haha’ to ‘Oh, medic, medic!’”
So with blood pouring out, he got his nose realigned, the fake moustache replanted, and did the final scene before being sent on his merry way to Colombian capital Bogotá. “And then I went to Bogotá with no one, they sent me to Bogotá. No one spoke English, they kept trying to pull my trousers down at one point. And I’m like, ‘No, it’s my nose, it’s my nose that’s broken!’ And they injected something in my leg, and I guess that made it better. Then I went home and got it fixed.”
Still, when Marvel Studios asked how their new star, who is the face of their most beloved, acrobatic character got injured, they apparently got a much shorter version of events.
“Marvel was asking me what happened,” Holland said while trying not to laugh. Then invoking the nonchalant tone he had in his excuse, Holland recollected, “Marvel was like, ‘What happened to your face?’ I was like, ‘Oh, I just fell over. Bashed it out.’” No big deal.
Once you see The Lost City of Z, which opens on April 21, 2017, you will likely be inclined to agree that it was worth it. We had the chance to see the film ourselves during closing night of the New York Film Festival, and you can read our review of the adventure here.