Tom Holland has revealed one way that fame has been tough on him.
The 25-year-old actor has been in show biz for quite a while now but skyrocketed to international fame when he was cast as Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man, in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” He has since appeared in a number of other Marvel movies.
In a recent interview with GQ, the British star revealed that as his celebrity grew, he began to struggle with sleep paralysis. According to WebMD, sleep paralysis is “a feeling of being conscious but unable to move. It occurs when a person passes between stages of wakefulness and sleep.”
“You’re awake, but you can’t move,” Holland explained.
He says he’s often struck by a nightmare about his affliction in which he wakes up in a state of paralysis, unable to move and is surrounded by paparazzi taking pictures.
“They’re all there, and I’m looking for my publicist, like, ‘Where is the person who’s supposed to be protecting me? What’s going on?’” he recalled. “And then when I am able to move again, I turn the lights on, and it’s over.”
Once he realizes that he’s safe and alone in his room, Holland said he feels relief, but not so much that he won’t “get up and look for a recording device or something that someone has put in my room.”
He also said that he faces “cognitive dreaming” and “four out of 10 sleeps I wake up completely naked.”
In addition, the star deals with nightmares from time to time and shared his trick for fighting them, which was originally shared with him by his “Spider-Man” director Jon Watts.
“Essentially, when you’re asleep, your brain is working way faster than it is when it’s awake,” he said. “If you’re in a dream and you read something, say, a stop sign, and you turn around, when you look back at the stop sign it will have changed. So what you do is — and this is where it sounds stupid — you set an alarm for every hour of the day when you’re awake. When the alarm goes off, you read something.”
He said that after reading something simple nearby, turning away and then turning back to see that nothing has changed, he gains control over his nightmares once he is actually asleep.
“What happens is when you do it for a long time, you start to do that in your sleep. Sometimes, if I’m having a really bad dream, I’ll look at a sign and go, ‘Oh, I’m dreaming.’ And then you have free rein to do whatever you want,” Holland explained.
He added: “The last time it happened to me, I was flying around the Golden Gate Bridge. It was awesome.”