Many readers of this blog might not be aware that in the UK, we are about to have a General Election – and on this subject, my phone lit up this week with messages and alerts to the news that Tom Holland has officially entered the fray.
Behind the curve as ever, this came as a surprise to me and something of a concern.
Tom is in America – mid-filming an intense and brutal role for a movie called Cherry. As busy as he is and knowing him like I do, it is likely that Tom is one of my readers who is unaware that the UK is going to the polls.
Unlikely then that he has anything to say on the subject – and this turns out to be the case?
As I say in Eclipsed – my advice to Tom for now at least, is this…
You are an actor. This means that you spend your working life in make believe – and for which you are lucky enough to enjoy a gilded and highly privileged life. Plus you are very young – (or life inexperienced, as yet) and in such circumstances, the sensible play is do not pontificate; in effect, remain, apolitical. And a good rule of thumb is to maintain this position for a good while yet. I don't know specifically how long - but twenty five years as a minimum.
So why then, is my phone pinging?
Firstly, because our incumbent Prime minister – Mr. Boris Johnson – during a speech and in extolling the virtues of the mighty United Kingdom, cited amongst many things, our pre-eminence in the arts, with two English actors currently playing Spider-Man (Tom Holland) and Superman (Henry Cavill).
"…and all occurring under his government", he added mischievously, which drew a bemused laugh from his audience – to which he laughed along and added facetiously…
“Yes, I’m taking credit for it.”
As a parent – I garner much credit and congratulations – none of which I am not terribly comfortable with because we didn’t do anything specific or deliberate as parents. There was no strategy or master plan. Just our instincts and our best foot forward along with lots of hope.
I have said before that Tom’s career is a perfect serendipitous fluke. Taking credit for his success is flattering but somewhat misplaced – but that said, I have had a far greater bearing on Tom's success than any politician appealing for our votes.
But then another political earthquake occurred which again involved a certain Tom Holland.
This time, a letter to a newspaper opposing the candidacy for Prime minister of Mr. Jeremy Corbyn - which has been signed by luminaries of the arts and academia – based on his ant-Semitism. And included in this list of signatories is, Tom Holland.
But not the Tom Holland that we all know and love.
Tom Holland, the historian and scholar who I have met on one occasion and liked very much. He could not be more different to his better known namesake. Very tall and not wishing to denigrate my son, but he has a brain the size of a medium sized planet. The author of more books than I have sold – including a tome called Dominion which I started to read full of verve and enthusiasm but quickly realised that I had over-reached. I have the desire to read such books but not the grey matter.
I write this blog post on a train – coming home from a gig last night in Manchester. After the gig and in my hotel room I had a long catch up on facetime with Tom Holland – the actor, not the intimidating author. During an hours conversation, we covered all manner of subjects. His films, my gig/s. Forthcoming projects (his). The brothers trust, his brothers, mum and all stuff more generally.
I mentioned my disastrous weekend just gone – when I was caught in a tale-back behind an accident on the A34 – where I remained for 4 hours and missed my gig.
I said this in passing - as though Tom would know about this already – because I had blogged about it – and Tom is one of my avid readers, right?
“What gig, dad. Why did you miss your gig?”
A moment of silence ensues as a painful reality hits me.
My assertion at the opening of this blog is only partly true. It turns out that Tom Holland – my first son – is NOT one of my readers after all.
Which I get.
He’s busy, right? He has a movie to make…
But it does beg the question… if he isn’t reading his old man’s blog, then what is he reading?
And the answer is applicable to most young men of his age.
Too busy swiping, meming, instagramming... and all to their great loss.
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