Tom Holland defends The Crowded Room amid negative reviews

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Tom Holland is hopeful his new miniseries The Crowded Room will connect with fans despite the barrage of negative reviews it has gotten.

The 27-year-old actor addressed the Apple TV+ psychological thriller, for which he also served as an executive producer, in a recent appearance on Unilad's Get a Job series. Acknowledging the poor reception, he said, "It's no secret that my show has been so horribly reviewed."

A number of notable outlets have panned the small-screen venture, with its current Rotten Tomatoes score standing at 31 percent. What some consider a head-scratching decision to cast Emmy Rossum as Holland's mother despite her being only 10 years older than him seems to be the least of what has bothered critics.

But Holland is unfazed by the less-than-stellar feedback. Jokingly comparing his experience to being like a Tottenham Hotspur fan — the team has never won the Premier League — he discussed how he has learned resilience and explained that he is more concerned about the lessons viewers can take away from The Crowded Room than the opinions of reviewers.

"The message of the show, which can address various issues, is that asking for help should be celebrated in our society," Holland said. "It's an act of bravery."

Tom Holland in "The Crowded Room," Episode 1. premiering June 9, 2023 on Apple TV+.
Tom Holland in "The Crowded Room," Episode 1. premiering June 9, 2023 on Apple TV+.

Stephanie Mei-Ling/Apple TV+ Tom Holland in 'The Crowded Room'

He expressed how he believes the series can convey the idea that accepting help is nothing to be ashamed of. "If we can somehow empower people to say, 'I'm not feeling good, I really need some help,' then we've achieved our goal."

Based on the 1981 novel The Minds of Billy Milligan, the miniseries' story centers on Holland's character, Danny Sullivan, who is arrested following a shooting at Rockefeller Center in 1979.

Holland told EW last month that the role, which led him to take a yearlong break from acting, was all the more meaningful given what he was able to take away during production. "Learning about mental health and the power of it, and speaking to psychiatrists about Danny and Billy's struggles, has been something that has been so informative to my own life," he said.

The star added that he hoped viewers would be inspired to "have more respect and more sympathy for people who are going through mental health issues." Said Holland, "I hope that people will feel educated about the powers of mental health, the struggles, [and] our incredible abilities to survive."

The Crowded Room is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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