For five long years, speculation of a romance between Tom Holland and Zendaya has been circulating the web—and for five long years, they denied it. The duo certainly had their reasons: As Holland told GQ in November 2021, they simply wanted to protect what they had. “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” he explained. The actor continued, “We sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”
While he wouldn’t go into specifics, the Spider-Man: Homecoming star made it clear that the pair, who were spotted making out in LA, in July 2021, is deeply in love. “When you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own… I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”
Looking back, it’s easy to see that they were always falling for one another all along, right in front of our very eyes. Relive all their sweetest interactions below.
- The pair was warned not to date after meeting on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Though they claimed to be just friends for years, many suspected there was something brewing under the surface
- The twosome went public in 2021, when they were spotted kissing, confirming they were a couple
- Holland has said that he's ready to be a dad
2016: A Rocky Start
According to Holland, his first meeting with Zendaya was on the clumsy side. “I don’t remember this, but he says there was some type of awkward hug, shake thing. It was kind of like, a 'oh, hey, woo.' You know, one of those,” the actress told The Hollywood Reporter in November 2016. Holland explained: “It was just one of those moments where I just wasn’t my smoothest."
After the bumpy exchange, however, both found themselves pleasantly surprised by their new costars. “He’s so nice, he’s like, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He’s a good dude,” Zendaya said. Meanwhile, of the Emmy winner, Holland raved, “I didn’t really know what to expect with Zendaya, and I was excited to see what she was like. I was so surprised and so happy—she’s one of the most professional, hardworking people I’ve ever met in my life.”
2016: A Fair Warning
The duo’s chemistry was so palpable on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, that producer Amy Pascal warned them not to act on it. “I took Tom and Zendaya aside, separately, when we first cast them and gave them a lecture,” Pascal would later tell the New York Times in December 2021. She added, “’Don’t go there — just don’t. Try not to,’”
The reason? “It can just complicate things, you know?” she explained, noting that she gave the same advice to Andrew Garfrield and Emma Stone. “They all ignored me."
July 10, 2016: Hanging Poolside
Needless to say, Pascal's words didn't stick: Zendaya made her Instagram debut on her now-boyfriend’s social media during the summer months of filming. “Summer Sundays,” Holland captioned a shot of them hanging out in a pool with a pal.
May 7, 2017: Cuddling Up
The pair was spotted looking cozy at their table at the MTV Movie Awards in May 2017, where they were on-hand to share a sneak peek at their shared Spider-Man: Homecoming flick.
July 13, 2017: Are They?
People reported on July 13, 2017, that Spider-Man and his Michelle were officially an item on the intel of an “insider”—and had been for awhile. “They started seeing each other while they were filming Spider-Man,” the source claimed to the publication, adding, “They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.”
July 13, 2017: False Alarm
That same day, the pals poked fun at the rumors. “@zendaya does the press tour count?” Holland joked on Twitter.
Zendaya took the bait, responding, “Wait, wait…my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven’t been on a vacation in years!”
August 8 2017: Doubling Down
The fashion icon doubled down on her claim that the two were just pals while speaking to Variety in August. “He’s a great dude. He’s literally one of my best friends,” she explained of their connection. “This past, how many months, we’ve had to do press tours together. There’s very few people that will understand what that’s like at 20 years old.”
September 1, 2017: Birthday Wishes
Holland made sure to give his leading lady a shoutout on her birthday, sharing a photo of the two of them back-to-back. “Thinking about how to get taller. Happy birthday mate," he captioned the snap. "Miss you and I’ll have a drink for you.”
September 27, 2018: Boat
The Marvel costars, along with Jacob Batalon, spent a day off sightseeing, snapping a pic from a boat in Venice.
May 8, 2018: A Public Nod
Holland sat up and took note of his leading lady’s Balmain ensemble for the 2018 Met Gala, along with the rest of the world. “All hail the queen,” he captioned a shot from the event, adding, “Killing it mate.”
March 29, 2018: Reunited, and It Feels So Good
The film stars reunited for a hangout in L.A. in March 2018, during which they snapped some pics with a statue of Holland's character outside a comic book shop.
June 1, 2018: Birthday Shenanigans
Zendaya wished her bestie a happy birthday, sharing a video of him battling with—and breaking—a light saber. "You idiot!" she can be heard laughing in the post. "You broke it!"
July 1, 2019: 'Lucky to Have You'
One year later, Zendaya shared a similar message with a group shot of the twosome and friends on a bed. "Happy birthday weirdo, thanks for being the wonderful person you are, we're all very lucky to have you and your weirdness," she wrote.
June 20, 2019: Onset Visits
Holland and Zendaya continued to hang out following the wrap of their shared flick, with the actor revealing that he’d been invited to visit her on the set of The Greatest Showman to Elle. “I was standing there with Jacob [Batalon], and I was like, ‘Oh look!’ Zendaya was in the middle of filming a trapeze scene, balancing on top of a pole. I remember thinking, There’s no way she’s going to jump off that—it’s like 60 feet. And then she jumped. We were gobsmacked.”
Still, he claimed to be completely single, telling the outlet that he wasn’t involved with anyone.
June 26, 2019: Looking Lovey Dovey
Single or not, Holland and Zendaya looked awfully close on the red carpet for Spider-Man: Far From Home, with the Chaos Walking star holding his costar intimately around her waist.
2021: Work Visits
Holland was a regular on the set of Euphoria's second season, which filmed between April 2021 and November 2021. “I must have come to visit Euphoria at least 30 times this season,” he told IMDb. He added, "I want to be in Euphora."
April 15, 2021: Bettering Each Other
Holland raved about how Zendaya had changed him for the better to GQ in April 2021. “Talking to Zendaya’s helped me a lot, actually,” he shared. “I used to come across sometimes as a bit of a dick to fans. I’d have the typical Londoner reaction, one of instant suspicion: ‘Why are you talking to me?’ Zendaya spotted this and quickly told me that this sort of reaction was going to be more aggro than just smiling and taking the picture. She totally changed the way I am able to be more comfortable in public.”
July 1, 2021: It's Official!
On July 1, 2021, there was no hiding their romance after the pair was spotted engaging in a steamy makeout session in a car in Los Angeles.
September 1, 2021: Birthday Kisses
Though the pair spent her birthday apart, Holland had a special message for his girlfriend on her 25th. “My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays,” he wrote, adding, “Give me a call when you’re up. XXX.”
October 12, 2021: Opening Up
With their relationship out in the open, Zendaya finally felt comfortable enough to open up about her boyfriend during an interview with InStyle. “There are many things, obviously, that I appreciate [about Tom],” she told the outlet. “In an actor way, I appreciate that he really loves being Spider-Man,” she mused. “It's a lot of pressure—you take on the role of a superhero wherever you go. To the little kid who walks by, you are Spider-Man. I think he handled that so well. And seeing him at work, even though he's not a Virgo [laughs], he is a perfectionist.”
She also offered a slightly more personal tidbit, saying, “Yeah, he's a fun time. Very charismatic, can make anybody feel comfortable and have a good laugh and a good chat. A good chat—I sound so British.”
October 18, 2021: Showing Some Love
Holland showed appreciation for his partner in October 2021, reposting a black-and-white paparazzi photo from the London screening of her film, Dune, and captioning it with a heart-eye emoji.
November 10, 2021: Unwavering Support
There was no mistaking how Holland felt about his significant other's red hot style at the CFDA Fashion Awards in November, where Zendaya was honored as the youngest person to ever win the Fashion Icon Award. "Naaa stop it 😍." he captioned a red carpet snap of his love. He continued: "An incredible achievement for the most incredible person. Congrats @zendaya and @luxurylaw you guys deserve every bit of this."
December 2021: Planning Ahead
Holland revealed that he was already thinking about the future in December, telling People that he was ready to hang up the mask. “I've spent the last six years being so focused on my career. I want to take a break and focus on starting a family and figuring out what I want to do outside of this world,” he shared.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that the dashing star loves little ones. "I love kids. I can't wait to be a dad,” he gushed. “I can wait, and I will, but I can't wait!"
December 15, 2021: Getting Gushy
Zendaya raved over her beau in December, sharing a photo of the Marvel star in his Spider-Man suit. “My Spider-Man, I’m so proud of you,” she wrote, adding, “Some things never change, and good thing. <3.”
January 25, 2022: Meeting the Fam
The twosome traveled overseas to London in January, where they were seen spending time with the British actor’s mother and two brothers.
February 16, 2022: Loud and Proud
There was no hiding their love on February 16, 2022, when the couple walked the streets of New York City hand-in-hand.
February 18, 2022: Shacking Up?
The rumor mill began to churn once more in February 2022, with buzz swirling that the couple may soon be moving into a new home that Holland reportedly purchased for himself and his girlfriend. The Cherry star, however, says it hasn’t happened… yet. “I’ve had so many people call me up, because apparently I bought a new house in South London. Which is completely false,” he told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on LIVE With Kelly and Ryan. "I’m like, ‘Wow, what a surprise, I wonder when I’ll get the keys!'"
February 2022: That’s Amore!
The twosome reportedly looked happy and in love while abroad in Rome last month per Page Six, sharing what onlookers called a “romantic” dinner at Antica Pesa.