‘Marvel’ous encounter

Junior meets Spider-Man star Tom Holland in May


Courtesy of Ally DeLong

Junior Ally DeLong meets Marvel’s Spider-Man actor, Tom Holland.

“With great power comes great responsibility.” Spider-Man’s most well-known phrase could not be more accurate. A hero, a role model, an idol–to junior Ally DeLong, Spider-Man is all of these things. Or rather, the actor who portrays him is.

DeLong met Spider-Man actor Tom Holland in May.

I remember I had the biggest smile on my face.”

— Ally DeLong, 11

“My friend sent me an ad over Instagram that said he was going to be having a meet and greet,” DeLong said. “Immediately I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I have to do this,’ because he lives in London and he was going to be in Texas. I asked my parents and they said, ‘Sure.’ A couple weeks later we got to go to Houston. We went there for the night, and the next day we woke up and went to Comicpalooza.”

Comicpalooza is a large multi-genre pop culture convention held in Houston annually. More than 50,750 people attended the 2018 edition of the event.

“I don’t usually go to that stuff, but to meet him, I did,” DeLong said. “We got there and walked around. We didn’t really know what to do. We ended up at a couple of different Q&As. We went to go see John Cusack but left early from that. The next one we went to was another Marvel actor for TV shows. We went to see her, and after that, we found out that Tom Holland was going to do a Q&A.”

He’s also my idol because I really love acting, and he gives really good advice about it.”

— Ally DeLong, 11

DeLong said she and her family waited two hours to watch Holland give his Q&A session. Holland spoke for an hour before DeLong could wait in line to meet Holland.

“When we got there to meet him, we got in line, and I remember being so nervous,” DeLong said. “He is my idol, and meeting him was insane. I was sitting there thinking of what I was going to say. We got into the room and he said, ‘Hi, love.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’”

DeLong said when meeting Holland she was able to ask a specific pose of him for a picture together.

“I asked him, ‘Can you put your arm around me and hold my hand?’” DeLong said. “He said, ‘Yeah, sure.’ He’ll do anything. It’s funny. We took that picture after he said that and then we walked out, and I had my picture.”

DeLong said she experienced several mixed emotions upon meeting Holland.

“I wanted to scream, but I knew I couldn’t,” DeLong said. “I was holding that inside. I remember I had the biggest smile on my face. It was weird. Seeing him not on screen and in person was insane because he was right there in front of me. I don’t know how to explain the feeling.”

DeLong said she does not only admire Holland for his acting, but also for his heart and advice.

“He’s very kind,” DeLong said. “He’ll go to children’s hospitals and help the kids out. He has a charity that he does where he raises money and gives it to help kids. He’s also my idol because I really love acting, and he gives really good advice about it.”

DeLong said she hopes to meet Holland again.

“We didn’t really have much time with him,” DeLong said. “If you really wanted to talk to him, you had to get an autograph, and I didn’t get to do that. Hopefully I’ll get to see him another time, and next time I’ll do that too.”