The Big Picture
- Holland reflects on the difficulty of his final scene in The Crowded Room, calling it a career highlight and expressing pride in the show’s conclusion.
- Holland discusses the potential future of Danny’s relationship with his mother, stating that while it seems they may go their separate ways, he believes there is a chance for reconciliation.
- Holland talks about the creative decision to depict Danny’s mind through the barn scenes, revealing that the idea was suggested by his brother and reflects the collaborative nature of the production team.
For Apple TV’s miniseries, The Crowded Room, actor Tom Holland not only stars in the psychological drama but serves as a producer with co-writer and executive producer, Akiva Goldsman. In a previous spoiler-free discussion with Collider’s Steve Weintraub, we learned what decisions Holland was making behind the scenes and how much involvement he had in production. If you’ve seen the series finale, which is now streaming, then you’re probably stunned by that ending. Below you can watch or read Weintraub’s full spoiler conversation with Holland about some of those tough decisions.
The Crowded Room, which was inspired by and adapted for television from a novel by Daniel Keyes, takes place after a cataclysmic shooting in the middle of New York City in the 1970s. Young Danny Sullivan (Holland) is arrested for his involvement in the shocking crime and is facing a number of felonies, but maintains his innocence. When a curious investigator, Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), takes the time to dig into his past, the two of them make some jarring discoveries that upend Danny’s life as he knows it. The series also features Emmy Rossum, Sasha Lane, Will Chase, and Lior Raz.
Last chance to turn back – if you haven’t seen the full 10 episodes of The Crowded Room, you’ve been warned. During their interview, Holland talks about the difficulty of those last moments, telling Weintraub, “My final scene on the stand is a scene that I don’t think I will ever beat in my career.” He shares the long process of finding the show’s conclusion, his thoughts on the relationships going forward, and the open-ended possibilities, asking, “Is there more to this story?” For all of this and more on how they determined how to portray Danny’s mind and the Easter eggs in the opening credits, check out the spoiler interview below.
COLLIDER: I thought the ending was fantastic, and the scene with you and Amanda, and being able to talk. Talk about how you guys decided where the show should end, and your thoughts on the ending of the show.
TOM HOLLAND: I mean, it was a really long conversation that spanned over almost the entirety of the show. There were multiple different endings to the show, and ultimately, we wanted the show to end on a conclusive resolve. We wanted the audiences to feel fulfilled, and I feel like we did that. We obviously have the little, kind of, twinkle in the eye at the end of like, “Is there more to this story?” And seeing Adam in the window at the end, but I’m incredibly proud of the ending.
My final scene on the stand is a scene that I don’t think I will ever beat in my career. I’m so proud of what we achieved there. I remember reading that scene for the first time and just thinking, “This isn’t going to work, it’s too difficult,” and I feel like we pulled it off. So, I feel very, very honored and very proud.
Do you think that Danny and his mom can ever have a relationship or do you think no chance?
HOLLAND: I always live by the idea of never say never because who knows? But at the end of the show, it seems like they probably will go their separate ways. But I’d like to think that they would be able to find a way to rekindle their relationship.
I thought the opening credits were very cool, but they have such a better meaning at the end of Episode 10. Can you talk about how you guys decided on the opening credits and their tie to the end?
HOLLAND: It’s a really interesting question. You know, like with all the films I’ve done and films where I’ve been a producer on, I’ve never been involved in that aspect of the show. The opening credits and the end credits have never been something that’s ever come across my desk, per se. But sitting down and figuring out what we were gonna do, because the opening credits to a TV show is important, that song that it plays, the visuals, it really gets people going. And I think it was Akiva’s idea to kind of tell the story through the watercolor paintings, and I think it was a great idea because I just think that the song is excellent. There are little snippets in there of clues of things to come, and I look forward to getting my hands on some of the original art to put in my house.
It’s so funny, Guillermo del Toro, when he does a film, he makes two of everything to make sure that he takes home everything. He’s a collector. Are you getting any of the paintings? Are you working that into your contract in the future that cool things from what you’re making get to come home with you?
HOLLAND: I don’t think you necessarily have to have those things in your contract. Sony, you know, they’ve already said that I can keep my Spidey suits. They store them for me, and I’m very grateful for them. I’m sure, you know, someone at Apple will allow me to have a copy of some of the artwork to put in my house because I am incredibly proud of the show. So I don’t necessarily think I’ll be putting that in my contract, but I do have quite an extensive collection of things that I’ve done over the past.
One of the things that was really cool is the way you depict Danny’s mind and having the characters in the barn coming through, and who takes the lead. Can you sort of talk about filming those sequences and how you guys decided that that’s how you wanted to depict the inside of Danny’s mind?
HOLLAND: Well, this is what I love about our job is that the person that came up with the idea of the barn was actually my brother. We were on set, we were figuring out what we were going to do for The Crowded Room. At one point, it was going to just be this kind of endless expanse of darkness with water everywhere, and we just felt like we’d seen that before and we couldn’t figure it out. And my brother piped up, and said, “The birthplace of the crowded room is the barn, wouldn’t it be really cool if, in Episode 7, he goes back to the barn and has to face the music?” Which is obviously, you know, a phrase from one of the episodes. And I love that our producing department was so collaborative that my little brother who’s on set with me had the freedom to pipe up in a meeting, and say, “I think it should be in the barn.”
The Crowded Room is available to stream now on Apple TV+. You can check out Collider’s interview with Emmy Rossum below, or read the full transcript here.