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He may have found his MJ, but Tom Holland’s girlfriend, Zendaya, isn’t the first actress he’s dated in Hollywood. In fact, Holland—who is best known for his role as Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—has been linked to several actress, as well as a director who was his childhood friend.
Though he’s known as Spider-Man to millions of fans across the world, Holland told People in 2021 that his real dream is to have a family. “I’ve spent the last six years being so focused on my career,” he said. “I want to take a break and focus on starting a family and figuring out what I want to do outside of this world.” He continued, “I love kids. I can’t wait to be a dad — I can wait and I will, but I can’t wait! If I’m at a wedding or a party, I’m always at the kids’ table hanging out. My dad’s been such a great role model for me. I think I’ve got that from him. So I think I’d be a primary school teacher or something like that.”
Holland also told Total Film magazine in 2021 about he doesn’t picture himself acting forever and wants one day to settle down. “I might go and be a carpenter for two years, and take a big break, and come back. Or I might not come back. I might go away, and get married, and have kids, and just disappear for the rest of my life,” he said.
As for where that leaves Spider-Man, Holland told People in 2021 that he’s considering retiring as the friendly neighborhood superhero. “I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve been so grateful to Marvel and Sony for giving us the opportunity and keeping us on and allowing our characters to progress. It’s been amazing,” Holland said. “And that’s why for me, I don’t want to say goodbye to Spider-Man—but I feel like we might be ready to say goodbye to Spider-Man.” He continued, “I don’t want to be responsible for holding back the next young person that comes in who deserves it just as much so.”
While he’ll forever be known as Spider-Man to fans of the MCU, to Tom Holland’s girlfriend, he’s just Tom. Read on for who Tom Holland is dating now and who else he’s dated before his power relationship with Zendaya.
Tom Holland and Zendaya—who star as love interests Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson in Marvel’s Spider-Man movies—were first linked in July 2017 when People reported that the two were dating. “They started seeing each other while they were filming Spider-Man,” a source said at the time. They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.”
The insider continued, “They’re both really ambitious and they challenge each other — but, most importantly, they make each other crack up. They seem to have a really similar sense of humor and love joking around together. They have great banter back and forth.”
In tweets at the time, both Zendaya and Holland denied that they were in a relationship. “Wait wait…my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven’t been on a vacation in years!😂😭🤣hbu @TomHolland1996 ???” Zendaya tweeted, to which Holland added, “@Zendaya Does the press tour count 😂😝.”
Four years later, in June 2021, Zendaya and Holland confirmed their relationship after they were photographed kissing in a car in Los Angeles. A day later, they were seen on a dinner date. In an interview with GQ in 2021, Holland revealed what Zendaya taught him about fame. “Having her in my life was so instrumental to my sanity,” he said. “She is so good at being the role model for young guys and girls. When anyone comes up, like, ‘Can I have a picture?,’ it’s never a bad time. Whereas my initial reaction was: ‘Why are you talking to me? Leave me alone.’” He also discussed the 2021 photo of him and Zendaya kissing, which he saw as an invasion of his “privacy.” “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” he said. “I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway,” he says. “We sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”
Zendaya added, “It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive. The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own.… I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”
When asked how he and Zendaya started dating, Holland told GQ, “I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to. It’s not a conversation that I can have without her. You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.” As for what Zendaya thinks ofHolland, the former Disney Channel star gushed to GQ about her co-star. “He’s a fun time,” she said. “Very charismatic, can make anybody feel comfortable and have a good laugh and a good chat. A good chat—I sound so British.”
Nadia Parkes (2020)
Tom Holland and actress Nadia Parkes dated for several months in 2020. According to The Sun, Holland Parkes—who has starred in TV shows like Doctor Who and The Spanish Princess—were introduced to each other by mutual friends Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas. A source told The Daily Mail in May 2020 that Holland and Parkes were quarantining together with one of holland’s brothers and a friend at the Marvel star’s apartment in London. t. “It was early days for Tom and Nadia when the lockdown was announced in London,” the insider said. “They made the decision to isolate together, and things have been going great between them. Tom has told friends and family they’re in an official relationship and living together so soon into their romance has only made them stronger.”
Olivia Bolton (2019 – 2020)
Tom Holland and Olivia Bolton, a family friend, were first linked in July 2019 when they were photographed flirting at the British Summer Time Festival in London’s Hyde Park. A source told The Sun at the time that Holland Bolton met through their families, who have been friends for years. “Tom and Olivia’s family have been friends for years but it took some time for Tom and Olivia to realize the connection between them,” the insider said. “Tom’s been dogged with rumours about who he’s dating so finally being public with Olivia has been a massive relief for him.” The newspaper reported that the Holland Bolton broke up in April 2020.
Ella Purnell (2017)
Tom Holland and actress Ella Purnell had a short romance in 2017. The two were first linked in February 2017 when The Sun reported that Holland and Purnell—who has starred in movies like Kick Ass 2 and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children—were seen flirting at a BAFTA after party hosted by Harvey Weinstein in London. (Holland won the award for EE Rising Star at the BAFTAs that year.) “Tom and Ella were very close inside the Weinstein party and it looked really obvious that he was taken by her,” a source told The Sun.
The insider continued, “He was out for a huge night and was leading her around the dance floor by the hand. He had loads of people around him, even his mum Nicola Frost, and at one point FaceTimed his friends from inside the venue…Tom and Ella went back to the Dorchester in separate cars. Tom had a room there and she didn’t.” Before her romance with Holland, Purnell was linked to Sex Education actor Asa Butterfield.
Elle Lotherington (2015 – 2016)
Tom Holland’s first public relationship was with his childhood sweetheart, Elle Lotherington, whom he attended the premiere of Ed Sheeran: Jumpers For Goalposts in London in 2015. According to The Sun, Holland had posted several photos of him and Lotherington—whose full name is on his Instagram, which have since been deleted. In October 2016, Lotherington—whose full name is Elicia Lotherington—posted a photo of her and Holland in a car with the caption, “So looking forward to you coming home 😊.” She also shared a photo of her and Holland shooting guns in August 2015 with the caption, “Target practice in Belfast with this one. @tomholland2013.
According to her website, Lotherington.co.uk, Lotherington works as a director and has worked on short movies like Strangers Within, Please Care and X to X. As of December 2021, her IMDb lists 13 credits of her as a second unit director or assistant director. Lotherington, who is based in Surrey and London, also references her directing career in her Instagram bio, which reads: “Welcome to the Set 🎥, Pet 🐕 & Jet ✈️ Life.”
For more about Spider-Man, check out Marvel’s special edition book, Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular: The Definitive Comic Art Collection, which takes readers through 50 years of Spider-Man. The deluxe art book—which includes exclusive interviews and content from the writers and illustrators that brought the Marvel superhero to life half a century ago—follows Spider-Man’s history, from his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962 to how he went from being Marvel’s chronic underdog to the amazing and spectacular superhero fans know today. The book—which also includes a deep dive into Spider-Man’s superpowers, including his spider-like strength, genius mind and webslingers (not to mention his “fully loaded arsenal of quips—Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular also features never-before-seen art of the friendly neighborhood superhero, and behind-the-scene details from creators like Brian Michael Bendis, Gerry Conway and Tom DeFalco, as well as others who helped bring Peter Parker to life. Spider-Man: From Amazing to Spectacular is a must-read for any Marvel superfan.
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