Tom Holland Reveals Robert Downey Jr. Gifted Him the Original Iron Man Helmet

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Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland has revealed that his Marvel Cinematic Universe mentor (onscreen and off) Robert Downey Jr. gifted him with the milestone present of the original Iron Man helmet! Holland is currently on the whirlwind press tour for Spider-Man: No Way Home; among the many anecdotes he’s sharing about his time making the three Spider-Man films for Marvel Studios and Sony, this latest one comes while Holland was understandably under pressure appearing on the “Hot Ones” chicken wings challenge for First We Feast. With your mouth filled with burning meat, it’s hard to keep any personal secrets contained!

Indeed, by the time poor Tom Holland spilled the story about how Robert Downey Jr. gave him the original Iron Man helmet, he was on the last of the Hot Ones wings challenge, and looking like he might not actually survive the experience. To that point: we’ve transcribed Holland’s anecdote according to the standards of English language we know he meant to convey, but physically couldn’t:

“My favorite souvenir was actually given to me – well it wasn’t given to me, it was given to my little brother Paddie. When ‘Black Panther’ was coming out, Robert Downey Jr. was making “Dr. Doolittle” in London. And he was staying down the road from where I live. And he invited us to a screening of ‘Black Panther’ at his house. And Paddie comes running into the room, and he’s holding the original Iron Man helmet, and Downey had given it to him as a gift.

That’s a really special one for me because I was lucky enough to join the MCU but I joined it very late. And that souvenir, that’s from the original film – that’s the birthplace of this incredible world that Kevin Feige and Marvel have created – and Downey and Favreau kicked off. So to have something from that film is a huge honor.”

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That story will make Marvel fans swoon not just because it reinforces the cute mentor/mentee relationship Downey’s Iron Man and Holland’s Spider-Man forged onscreen. On big part of deeper MCU lore is the retcon that the little boy Iron Man saved form Whiplash’s drone attack on Stark Expo in Iron Man 2 was none other than a young Peter Parker. “Peter” wore his own replica of the Iron Man helmet in that scene, so Tom Holland’s family now possessing the actual Iron Man helmet in real life just makes things deliciously meta.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home will be in theaters on December 17th.

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