‘The crowded room’, the series that led Tom Holland to exhaustion

With just turned 27, Tom Holland can say that he has come much further than he imagined when J.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
08 June 2023 Thursday 10:33
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‘The crowded room’, the series that led Tom Holland to exhaustion

With just turned 27, Tom Holland can say that he has come much further than he imagined when J.A. Bayona hired him, as a teenager, to play the son of Naomi Watts in The Impossible. Become one of the great stars of Hollywood thanks to Marvel and Spider-Man, who actually forged himself as an actor in London's West End participating in Billy Elliot's shows every night when he was barely 12 years old, he never settled for the big blockbusters, seizing every opportunity to display his wide range as an actor.

For this reason, when the Oscar winner for the script of A Beautiful Mind, Akiva Goldsman, offered him to star in The Crowded Room in which he would have to use all his histrionic resources, he did not hesitate, also joining as producer of the series that is being released. this Friday on Apple TV. A double task, that of actor and producer, which has led him to exhaustion and to decide to take a sabbatical year away from the cameras. “I love the learning curve of becoming a producer. I really enjoyed it, but the series exhausted me”, he has declared.

Holland, whose only television experience was a supporting role in the British miniseries Wolf Hall in 2015, plays Danny Sullivan, who we find in the opening minutes of the first episode crouching near the Rockefeller building in 1970s New York. with Ariana (Sasha Lane).

Danny, with fear painted on his face, has a gun in his hand and at her request, who is furious, launches himself to try to shoot a person whom we cannot see. When he doesn't react as she expects, Ariana takes the gun and she starts shooting. Who is Danny? And who Ariana? We will discover it together with Rya (Amanda Seyfried), who after her arrest sits in front of the detainee and begins to ask him questions. Is she a detective or a psychologist?

The truth is that little by little other characters will appear, such as Danny's mother, Candy, played by Emmy Rossum, and his stepfather, Martin, a detestable individual played by Will Chase who does not hesitate to mistreat him whenever he can. We will also meet Ytzkak, a beefy Israeli who gives him shelter in his house, where Ariana also lives, when things at Danny's home no longer work. The role is in charge of Lior Raz, creator and star of Fauda, ​​the hit Netflix series.

It's hard to explain who exactly Danny is without revealing why The Crowded Room goes far beyond the police story, but it can be said that there is a very beautiful girl (Emma Laird) who leads him to do unusual things, and also that he ends up getting into trouble when he and his high school friends (one of whom is Levon Hawke, son of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke) find a quick financial way out by buying marijuana from a dangerous local dealer and then selling it at school.

Inspired by Daniel Keyes' novel The Minds of Billy Milligan but incorporating many of Goldsman's autobiographical elements, the vast cast of this 10-episode miniseries features the likes of Jason Isaacs, Christopher Abbott and Amanda Seyfried's real-life husband. , Thomas Sadoski, who curiously plays the husband of the character that the actress embodies in the series and has almost all her scenes with her.

So much talent in the same series has a reason and that is that the story is transformed as the episodes progress, with twists that generally surprise the viewer. There is no better clue as to what the final destination is than Goldsman's own words in the press release: “I created The Crowded Room with a specific goal: to generate empathy for those suffering from trauma linked to mental illness. Stories about them can unconsciously turn into caricatures. We see unusual behaviors without being able to understand their motivations, and the ones on screen are not like us. But in my experience that couldn't be further from the truth. Especially to a trauma survivor, what appears to be irrational, reactive and delusional may seem reasonable from their perspective," wrote the son of two psychologists to finish off: "My hope is that The Crowded Room can create a little more compassion. and kindness towards those who seem different to us. If that happens, it will have fulfilled its objective”.