Tom Holland made his first appearance at Deadline’s AwardsLine Screening Series panel for Apple TV+ since the SAG-AFTRA strike. crowded room, Akiva Goldsman created the series inspired by the book Billy Milligan’s brain, but changed the character from the real-life Milligan to the fictional Danny Sullivan.
Portraying a man who developed dissociative identity disorder, also known as multiple personality disorder, when the show was set in the ’70s, took a heavy toll on Holland.
“One time I asked for a week off,” Holland said. “I was really lucky to get it because I really needed some time to reset before going into the latter part of the show.”
Holland said that the 10-episode series was more demanding than any Marvel film in which he played Spider-Man.
“I’ve had three months of acclimatization and my work is done, I move on,” Holland said. “I am also used to playing superhero roles. This is a very different thing. I’m talking about Thanos and spaceships and all that kind of stuff. You go home and nothing will really change.”
Danny’s role spilled over into Holland’s personal life, he said.
Holland admitted, “I would dream like Danny.”
Even changing his look surprised him. Holland has a unique ’70s haircut that surprises him even in the mirror most mornings.
“I obviously had that crazy haircut,” Holland said. “You laugh and yes, it’s funny but I wake up in the morning and go to brush my teeth to get ready for work and say, ‘Jesus, wow, oh my God!'”
Holland said he did it because of the valuethat crowded room Can serve an audience in similar circumstances. Danny developed an alternate personality after being sexually abused as a child.
Holland said, “The responsibility of telling this story and educating people about what Danny was going through, what a lot of people are going through, was very important.”
Goldsman follows up her previous interview with Deadline in which she discussed surviving child sexual abuse. He said that Danny is a mix of the real Billy Milligan and the Goldsman experience.
“I’ve often tried to hide my experience in other people’s stories,” Goldsman said. “It’s safer.”
Goldsman said abuse survivors give each other signals without knowing they are doing it. i hope creation crowded room Can reach other survivors.
“Secrets are really toxic,” Goldsman said. “It was a way of saying, ‘Hey, we see you. You see us. No problem.'”
Goldsman said the process of addressing child sexual abuse in her art is therapeutic.
“We grow, we heal, we suffer loss and pain and trauma and we try to turn them into grace, or meaning, art,” Goldsman said. “Just that act is quite liberating.”
Many of the craft team crowded room Panel members were also present to address the technical aspects of the show. Script supervisor Jody was the first to suggest to Dominic Goldsman that Danny should take some time to confide in psychologist Rhea (Amanda Seyfried) about his abuse.
“The first thing I said to him was, ‘As a former clinical psychologist, I don’t think Danny would talk about Adam’s sexual abuse in his first session with Raya,'” Dominic said.
Goldsman admitted that she was taken back and even joked about firing Dominic, but realized that she was right. This led to structural changes where the show gradually exposed Danny’s abuse and disintegrative identity.
Editor Christopher Rand was responsible for altering some episodes so that the early episodes would spend more time getting to know Danny.
Rand said, “We needed to know and love Danny before we saw this trauma.”
Production designer Lauren Weeks designed the barn in which Danny imagines all of his identities reside. Holland’s brother suggested the barn and Weeks designed a barn to represent Danny’s mind.
Weeks said, “The idea was to present it realistically so that when you’re in tight scenes it feels believable and also has a sense of infinite scale.”
Weeks got the idea of Spotlight from here mind of billy milligan Book. Milligan pointed out that when he took power his personality was in the spotlight.
“The main attraction of it came from the book,” Weeks said. “It was a spotlight on a stage.”
the goldsmith caught Star Trek: Discovery And strange new worldVisual effects artist Leslie Chung will be its VFX supervisor. crowded room, Chung said she began to like the show’s more subtle visual effects, including the fireflies seen by Danny.
Chung said, “I think that was the first time for me that I was able to create really gentle VFX that felt like the tone of the story.”
Casting director Avi Kaufman said that everything he cast, whether real-world characters or other actors, revolved around Holland.
Kaufman said, “All the actors had to be with Tom.”
Music supervisor Sue Jacobs was responsible for licensing The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, which is instrumental to Danny and ends the final episode. Jacobs said that the Beatles’ estate was won over by Goldsman’s message, expressed in a letter Goldsman wrote to him.
“I think the first thing Akiva said was, ‘I want to make a mental health story that’s really positive,'” Jacobs said. “They came back and said, ‘How can we not do this?’ Then we kept adding other uses. At some point it wasn’t economical and they were like, ‘We don’t care, we really want to be part of this story.’
Watch the panel conversation in the video above.
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