How Tom Holland Really Feels About His Iconic "Umbrella" Performance 6 Years Later

Tom Holland reflected on his 2017 performance of "Umbrella" on Lip Sync Battle, during which he competed against future girlfriend Zendaya, and commented on the famous fishnets and corset.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Jun 15, 2023 7:32 PMTags
Watch: Tom Holland Says He's Proud of His Umbrella Performance

Tom Holland will always have our hearts for this performance.

Six years after his iconic performance of Rihanna's "Umbrella" on Lip Sync Battle—which saw him transform into the pop star and showcase some truly impressive choreography—the 27-year-old is opening up about its lasting legacy.

"I'm proud of it," he told The Hollywood Reporter in a June 14 interview. "I like that it left a lasting impact. It was an amazing time."

For the battle, which saw him face off against Spider-Man: Homecoming costar and future girlfriend Zendaya, Tom pulled off a now-infamous fake out, taking the stage in a suit and fedora as the first few bars of "Singin' in the Rain" played. The music then cut to the Rihanna hit as Tom reappeared, donning a black corset, fish nets, black vinyl shorts and a black bob wig. 

The performance came at a major transitional phase in the then-20-year-old's life.

"My life was changing before my eyes," Tom continued. "Spider-Man was coming out. I was on the up. I was getting offers and turning them down for the first time, which was really crazy. I was meeting producers and directors and going to L.A. by myself. I was finally at that stage where I could say, ‘Can I bring my friends?' And they'd say, ‘Yeah.'"

Lip Sync Battle Performances

And while the performance is especially famous for Tom's fishnets and corseted costume, the actor says it wasn't intended as any sort of statement against toxic masculinity—but he doesn't mind its connotations as such. 

"I've grown up in the most non-toxic-masculine environment possible," Tom said of donning the look. "I didn't realize what I was doing was so forward-thinking. I was just like, ‘Yeah, f--k it, I'll put some fishnets on and dance in the rain. That'll be really fun. I don't care.'"


But as iconic as the performance was, the Uncharted actor says the days of taking the stage for these more trivial endeavors are behind him.

"You'd never catch me doing that now," he admitted. "Just because I don't want to do a f--king TV show that I don't need to do. I'd rather go and play golf and live my little private life."

Yet with all his major blockbuster triumphs, Tom noted it's his "Umbrella" performance that lingers for fans. "I've really worked hard in my career, and I've really been calculated in deciding what it is I do and when I do it," he joked. "And for all the movies that I'm incredibly proud of, the Lip Sync Battle is what I get the most compliments for."

Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

And though Tom ended up beating Zendaya in their 2017 lip syncing showdown, it clearly didn't affect their future relationship as the Spider-Man costars have been romantically linked since 2021. However, don't expect them to comment on their private life together too often.

"Our relationship is something that we are incredibly protective of and we want to keep as sacred as possible," Tom explained in the THR cover story. "We don't think that we owe it to anyone, it's our thing, and it has nothing to do with our careers."

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