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Tom Holland opens up about his epic drag Rihanna lip sync performance & why he’d never do it now

Tom Holland in drag performing on Lip Sync Battle
credit: YouTube (screenshot)

Tom Holland is one of the biggest young movie stars in Hollywood.

The 27-year-old got his start playing the titular role in Billy Elliot The Musical on the London stage and famously went on to step into the iconic role of Spider-Man in seven Marvel movies, including the three most recent standalone films centered on Peter Parker’s secret superhero identity.

Holland also recently added another Sony franchise to his belt after the success of the 2022 film adaptation of the popular Uncharted video game series.

Despite all his theatrical accomplishments, it’s a 6-year-old drag performance that the Spider-Man: No Way Home star claims is what fans admire most.

“Because I’ve really worked hard in my career and I’ve really been calculated in deciding what it is I do and when I do it. And for all the movies that I’m incredibly proud of, the Lip Sync Battle is what I get the most compliments for,” Holland said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Back in May 2017, Holland slayed the house down boots rocking a black bob, bustier, vinyl hot pants and fishnets to lip sync for his life to Rihanna’s blockbuster hit “Umbrella” on the Paramount Network’s celebrity competition series.

Besides his commitment to wardrobe, Holland’s choreo is seriously on point and features deep thrusts, back flips and Sasha Colby-level hair flips while getting soaked under a deluge of rain. He does this all while his Spider-Man costar/future girlfriend Zendaya watches on in total amazement.

Tens across the board, henny!

In hindsight, Holland says he has no regrets about the impressive number.

“I’m proud of it,” he said of the two-and-a-half minute dance extravaganza. “I like that it left a lasting impact. It was an amazing time.”

He added: “My life was changing before my eyes. Spider-Man was coming out. I was on the up. I was getting offers and turning them down for the first time, which was really crazy. I was meeting producers and directors and going to L.A. by myself. I was finally at that stage where I could say, ‘Can I bring my friends?’ And they’d say, ‘Yeah.’”

While he credits the show’s costume designer for coming up with his drag persona, Holland said the gender-bending routine was not a comment on toxic masculinity or that big a deal.

“I don’t give a f*ck. I’ve grown up in the most non-toxic-masculine environment possible,” the English actor shared. “I didn’t realize what I was doing was so forward-thinking. I was just like, ‘Yeah, f*ck it, I’ll put some fishnets on and dance in the rain. That’ll be really fun. I don’t care.'”

That being said, the box office star has no plans to get all glammed up again for a repeat performance.

“But you’d never catch me doing that now. Just because I don’t want to do a f*cking TV show that I don’t need to do,” he told the outlet. “I’d rather go and play golf and live my little private life.”

In that same episode, Holland went masc for masc performing Nelly’s “Ride wit Me”:

Last year, Holland disclosed that his father tried to talk him out of the Rihanna performance because it was too “risqué.” Thankfully, Holland didn’t listen and went on to make TV magic.

While we may not see Holland serving Rihanna realness anytime soon, you can catch him donning ’70s deranged criminal drag in his new psychological thriller series The Crowded Room, which is streaming on AppleTV+ now.