“When we did the screen tests, there were six of us all in this room waiting to audition. It felt like The Hunger Games.” – Tom Holland on His Spider-Man Audition

One of the most acclaimed parts of this year’s Captain America: Civil War had nothing to do with the titular character or his friend-turned-foe Iron Man — it was the debut of Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man. The youthful-looking Holland, who became a star in Billy Elliot the Musical eight years ago, became an instant fan favorite and his first solo film as the character, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will be released in July, is now eagerly anticipated. However, Holland tells The Hollywood Reporter that he found out he had gotten the Spider-Man role from… Instagram.

Holland admits that he desperately wanted to play Spider-Man. He explains, “Two years ago, I went to a fancy dress party dressed as Spider-Man and looked like an absolute idiot. About a year afterwards, they announced they were recasting it, and I rang up my agents and was like, ‘Please, please get me an audition.’ And they said they’ve actually requested for you to do a self-tape.”

Knowing that part of Spider-Man’s abilities is his incredible high-swinging stunts, Holland showed off his gymnastic skills for his taped audition. He recalls, “I was a gymnast when I was a kid, so I did a backflip, just to show Marvel that I could do that sort of stuff. I was like, ‘Hi, I’m Tom Holland.’ Backflip. ‘I’m from London.’ Side flip. ‘I’m five-foot-seven.’ Front flip. I had a lot of fun making those tapes.”

Though Marvel liked what it saw on Holland’s audition tape, the actual screen test was even more nerve-wracking. Holland says, “When we did the screen tests, there were six of us all in this room waiting to audition. It felt like The Hunger Games. [laughs] It was a real weird atmosphere because there’s all these kids who really, really want this role. They were like, ‘We’ll let you know tomorrow.’ Then you find out a month later what the verdict was.”

In fact, Holland reveals that he found out he was the new Spider-Man when everyone else did — when Marvel made the announcement. He recalls, “I was in my bed scrolling through Instagram. It had been about a month since my audition. And Marvel just posted a photo saying go to our website and find out who the next Spider-Man is. I went on the Marvel website on my computer and there it was: The new Spider-Man is Tom Holland. I went ballistic, like absolutely nuts.”