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Tom Holland on Approaching Mental Health in ‘The Crowded Room’ With Care

Tom Holland stars in and executive produced The Crowded Room. New episodes are released on Apple TV+ weekly, every Friday leading to the finale on July 28. This interview will contain major spoilers for episode 7.

The Crowded Room” stars Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan, a man who is arrested following his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979.  A captivating thriller told through a series of interviews with curious interrogator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny’s life story unfolds, revealing elements of the mysterious past that shaped him, and the twists and turns that will lead him to a life-altering revelation. 

Apple TV+

“I’m so glad that you acknowledged and have picked up on the fact that we really did handle this with care. I think in the past, there have been films that have been really careless with how they’ve depicted certain mental health issues and I think because of Akiva’s background in psychology and his passion for the project, he was really our driving force to tell this story in not just an authentic way, but in a sensitive way. We want people to feel like they’ve been seen and we don’t want them to feel like we’ve taken advantage of them. So I really appreciate that you picked up on that,” he expressed to me. “The ways in which we executed that was just research, was just speaking to people, it was reading literature, it was reading pieces of medical work that Akiva would find that we would talk about, it was watching films, it was watching documentaries, and it was ultimately just taking our time and really sure that we were sure about the decisions we were making.”

Holland also shared, “Well, I think what’s important about the decision to introduce the audience to Danny is that there’s more to Danny than DID. He is someone who is suffering from this thing, but at the end of the day, he’s a human being just like you and I are, he just has been suffering from great deals of trauma. So while it’s obviously an incredibly exciting way to tell the story to kind of keep that secret back, it also is the right way to tell the story because we allow the audience to feel empathy for Danny, to feel sympathy for him, to admire him, to hate him, and then, to ultimately understand why he is the way he is. So that was really important to me.”

Apple TV+

I had the opportunity to speak with him about how the show handles the topic of mental health with care, ensuring that Danny is not defined by his diagnosis, and how he was challenged as an actor.

Watch my interview here:

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