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Tom Holland: It’s a ‘stupid assumption’ that women can’t be taller than male partners

Tom Holland and Zendaya share how their height difference led to a "sweet" moment in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." 

Tom Holland and Zendaya are opening up about how their height difference made a kissing scene in the upcoming "Spider-Man: No Way Home" that much sweeter.

The pair, who are a couple both on and off the screen, stopped by the SiriusXM studios on Friday for a laughter-filled conversation to promote the movie, which hits theaters Dec. 17.


Ton Holland joked that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" director Jon Watts would have had to put him on an apple box if he wanted him to appear taller than Zendaya.David M. Benett / WireImage / Getty Images

When host Jessica Shaw pointed that fans have noted that Holland, who plays Peter Parker and his superhero alias Spider-Man, is noticeably shorter than Zendaya, who plays Parker's love interest MJ, Holland responded by saying Zendaya is "not that much taller" than him.

"Let’s just, let’s put this out there. Maybe like an inch or two at best. It’s not like, people say like, like 'How did you guys kiss? It must have been so difficult,'" the English actor said as everyone around him laughed.

Shaw suggested the idea that women shouldn't be taller than their male partners is downright silly and maybe even "misogynistic."

"Yeah, this is normal, too," Zendaya said of her and Holland's statures.

"It's a stupid assumption," Holland agreed.

Zendaya never realized what a big deal it was because she grew up seeing a similar height difference every day. "My mom is taller than my dad. My mom is taller than everyone," she said.

The idea that women shouldn't be taller than me is "ridiculous," said Holland, recalling that many of the women who tested for the role of MJ towered over him.

"You know, I remember when we were doing the Spider-Man screen tests ... Every girl that we tested for both roles was taller than me," he said, adding that director Jon Watts perhaps wanted a height difference between Holland and his co-star.

"There was no one that tested that was shorter than I was. To be fair, I am quite short," Holland continued. "But maybe that was a decision Jon Watts made and something he was aware of and wanted to break the stereotype. I think it’s great."

As for the couple's on-screen kiss, both Holland and Zendaya think it turned out beautifully. "It’s a nice, sweet moment between them," said Zendaya.

"It is very sweet," agreed Holland.

Besides, Zendaya, added, what would have been the alternative? Use camera tricks to pretend Holland was taller?

"Put me on an apple box," joked Holland.

Last week, during a fun visit to "The Graham Norton Show," the adorable duo talked about how their height difference made it difficult to perform some of the movie's stunts.

"There’s a particular stunt ... where Spider-Man swings us on top of a bridge, and he places me there," Zendaya said as the moment flashed on a nearby screen.

"He’s supposed to gently, you know, rest MJ on the bridge and walk away from her," she explained.

But because she's taller, she ended up landing before Holland, which put the couple in a hilariously awkward position. "My feet obviously hit the ground before he does," she said.

Holland also recalled the moment. "I’m the superhero. I’m supposed to look cool, and she would land, and I would sort of land like this and my feet would swing from underneath me, and then she would catch me," he joked, as the pair stood up to demonstrate what happened.

But Holland was "lovely" about the mishap, Zendaya noted, even thanking her for saving him.

"It’s so nice to be caught for a change," joked Holland.