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Spiderman 'saves' sick children in Seoul

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Spiderman Tom Holland visits patients in the children's hospital of Seoul National University Hospital in Jongno District, Monday. Seoul National University Hospital's Facebook
Spiderman Tom Holland visits patients in the children's hospital of Seoul National University Hospital in Jongno District, Monday. Seoul National University Hospital's Facebook

By Ko Dong-hwan

When Spiderman started his Seoul promotional tour on June 29, he kept one mission secret from the Korean press and public ― a visit to cheer up sick children at Seoul National University Hospital.

British actor Tom Holland, who gives life to the Marvel Comics hero, paid the surprise visit to the children's hospital inside the large medical compound in Jongno District on Monday. He was almost fully in character ― wearing the tight Spiderman outfit and pretending to shoot webs from his wrists ― but he did not wear the mask.

As part of hospital infection-control etiquette, he donned a face mask and covers for his feet.

Even more surprised than the children were their parents and hospital employees who crowded near him and took selfies with the star, 23.

He toured all eight wards, two on each floor, meeting children in hallways and even entering patients' rooms to meet those who could not get out of bed, the hospital said.

One of the visitors to Seoul National University Hospital on Monday posted photos of her and a child patient with Tom Holland. Instagram
One of the visitors to Seoul National University Hospital on Monday posted photos of her and a child patient with Tom Holland. Instagram

Holland was in Korea to promote "Spider-Man: Far From Home" that hit Korean theaters Tuesday.

"It was Holland's personal interest to come to the hospital," Park Jung-won, from the children's hospital's pediatric treatment administration team, told The Korea Times. He quoted Sony Pictures Korea, which represented Holland during his Seoul visit, as saying it was "an unofficial event requested by Sony that took into consideration the actor's interest in the children as much as possible."

Sony minimized the crew that accompanied Holland during the visit so patients could get close to the star, according to Park.

Holland stayed in the hospital for almost an hour. But when he was leaving, more security guards were sent as the crowd wishing to see the star swelled

Park said Holland "wanted to follow Spiderman's heroic characteristics in visiting the children." He said the actor also visited sick children in Brazil and England when he was promoting the film.

Tom Holland, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal hold Hahoe masks they received as gifts during a press conference for
Tom Holland, left, and Jake Gyllenhaal hold Hahoe masks they received as gifts during a press conference for "Spider-Man: Far From Home" at the Four Seasons hotel in Seoul's Jongno District, Monday. Yonhap

Holland left Seoul Tuesday after a four-day visit that was part of his global promotion of the Marvel heroes franchise's latest installment and the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He visited with Jake Gyllenhaal, the movie's villain.

It was Holland's third Seoul visit following 2017 and 2018, when he came to promote "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Avengers: Infinity War."

Earlier Monday, Holland and Gyllenhaal held a press conference at the Four Seasons hotel in Jongno where they were presented Hahoe masks, Korea's traditional mask from folklore.


Ko Dong-hwan aoshima11@koreatimes.co.kr


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