In early May, MCU veterans Joe and Anthony Russo launched a weekly Instagram Live show to discuss a range of classic movies that made them want to be directors in the first place. Starting with Mathieu Kassovitz’s La Haine, the ‘Russo Bros. Pizza Film School‘ has been a fun time for viewers choosing to tune in during quarantine ever since.
In a new interview about the ongoing project with Fox 5 DC, the Russo brothers chatted about their various attempts to school audiences who have gaps in their film history knowledge, including a young Tom Holland during his Marvel debut in their second MCU film, Captain America: Civil War.
The 19-year-old actor admitted to the Russos that he’d never seen the original Star Wars trilogy, so he didn’t really have any idea what he was referencing in his breakout scene as Peter Parker tackling the might of Ant-Man, Empire Strikes Back-style, during Civil War‘s extensive airport battle.
“We were stunned,” Joe Russo said. “We adore Tom, but I’ll tell you, getting to know Tom, Tom is a young man. He is a very young man. [Empire Strikes Back] is twice his age. We’ve since gotten him to invest some of his time watching some older films, hence the Pizza Film School. Holland needed to go to Pizza Film School [laughs].”
Anthony Russo added “I have to tell you, I actually got really excited when he said he hadn’t seen it because the idea was so novel to me and unexpected. I was like, ‘This is fantastic.’ Tom is a guy whose sensibilities we really admire and value, and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, we get to tap into his sensibilities and they’re unaffected by Star Wars.’ I’m like, ‘What is that? What does that mean?’ I was very excited by that.”
Though the Russos didn’t go to the extremes of forcing Holland to do further Star Wars research, and they’re not 100% sure he ever did, Joe said, “I think we’ve since busted his chops enough that he’s seen it. I think he’s seen the [original] Star Wars trilogy at this point.”
“I’m not a huge Star Wars fan,” Holland said. “I am a fan of the new ones. I thought Rogue One and Force Awakens were dope …I just for some reason skipped the original Star Wars. And I’m even more embarrassed to say that I loved [the Star Wars prequels] when I was a kid. Everyone’s like, ‘What? You liked those movies?!’ But I thought they were great.”