Emmy Rossum Opens Up About Playing Tom Holland’s Mom Despite Questionable Age Gap

The "Crowded Room" actor said being only nine years older than her on-screen son "makes sense when I read the script."

The decision to cast Emmy Rossum as the mother of Tom Holland’s character in “The Crowded Room” has raised its fair share of eyebrows ― but Rossum insists there’s a justifiable reason for the choice.

At 36, Rossum is just nine years older than 27-year-old Holland. Speaking to “Entertainment Tonight” last week, however, Rossum said the narrow age gap “makes sense when I read the script.”

“[My character] Candy’s a super young mom,” the “Shameless” actor explained. “She’s almost a child in her own right when she becomes pregnant at age 16. You watch as I age from 25 to 35, which is actually younger than I am now.”

Set to premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, “The Crowded Room” follows Danny Sullivan (played by Holland), a young New York man who is arrested for his involvement in a grisly 1979 shooting. In a series of conversations with investigator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny reflects on the moments of his early life that led to the crime.

In her chat with “ET,” Rossum said playing the role of Danny’s mother, Candy Sullivan, was a particularly emotional experience given that she and husband Sam Esmail learned they were expecting their second child during production.

Watch the trailer for “The Crowded Room” below.

“Finding out during our last couple episodes that I was pregnant with my son, who was born eight weeks ago, it brings up a lot about our imperfections as people, the unrealistic expectations that we place on ourselves, and how we are really just a product of our own upbringings,” she explained. “I think the show has a lot to say about love and empathy and understanding of those who are different than we are.”

“The Crowded Room” is loosely based on the real-life case of Billy Milligan, an Ohio man who in 1977 was acquitted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting three women due to dissociative identity disorder. Milligan, who died in 2014, was also the subject of a 2021 Netflix docuseries, “Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan.”

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly last month, Holland said playing the role of Danny Sullivan took a heavy emotional toll on him.

“I’m no stranger to the physical aspects of the job doing the whole action-movie thing,” the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actor explained. “But the mental aspect, it really beat me up and it took a long time for me to recover afterwards, to sort of get back to reality.”

Popular in the Community