Actor Tom Holland felt like shaving his head nine months through the shoot of his upcoming Apple TV+ show The Crowded Room as he started getting mentally affected by the character he was playing and was desperate to detach from it, the 26-year-old has said in an interview with the US-based magazine Entertainment Weekly.
In the psychological thriller, Holland plays an introverted and bullied murder suspect Danny Sullivan who seemingly suffers from mental health issues and forgets about incidents that occurred in the past.
"I was seeing myself in him (Danny), but in my personal life. 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," he revealed.
Getting into the skin of his character took a toll on Holland’s mental health, the actor who has mostly worked in action films, said.
"I'm no stranger to the physical aspects of the job doing the whole action-movie thing but the mental aspect, it really beat me up and it took a long time for me to recover afterwards, to sort of get back to reality," he explained.
Learning about mental health and speaking to psychiatrists helped him during this phase. "Speaking to psychiatrists about Danny and Billy's struggles has been something that has been so informative to my own life, especially when it comes to recognizing triggers and things that stress me out like social media.”
Last year in August the actor announced that he will take a break from social media citing mental health reasons.
The Crowded Room is inspired by a true story and based on the 1981 novel The Minds of Billy Milligan by Daniel Keyes. The 10-episode series follows Holland’s Danny after he is arrested following his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979. Investigator Rya Goodwin, played by Amanda Seyfried, slowly unfolds Danny’s life through a series of interviews which leads him to a life-altering revelation.
The mini series, created by Akiva Goldsman, also stars Emmy Rossum, Will Chase, Sam Vartholomeos and Levon Hawke. The first three episodes of the series will be released on Apple TV+ on June 9, with the following seven airing weekly afterward.
Holland also has Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Spiderman 4 and a biopic of Fred Astaire in the pipeline.