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 valid reason for the choice.
At 36, Rossum is just nine years older than Holland, 27. Speaking to “Entertainment Tonight” last week, however, Rossum said the close age difference “makes sense when I read the script.”
“[My character] Candy is a super young mom,” explained the “Shameless” actor. “She’s almost a little girl in her own right when she gets pregnant at 16. Look how I age from 25 to 35, which is actually younger than I am now.”
“The Crowded Room,” premiering Friday on Apple TV+, follows Danny Sullivan (played by Holland), a young New Yorker who is arrested for his involvement in a shooting in 1979. In a series of conversations with investigator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny reflects on the moments in his early life that led to the crime.
Speaking with “ET,” Rossum said playing Danny’s mother, Candy Sullivan, was an especially emotional experience as she and husband Sam Esmail learned they were expecting their second child. during production.
Watch the trailer for “The Crowded Room” below.
“During our last two episodes that I was pregnant with my son, who was born eight weeks ago, we’re taught a lot about our imperfections as people, the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves, and how we’re really just a product of our own education,” he explained. “I think the show has a lot to say about love, empathy and understanding of those who are different from us.”
“The Crowded Room” is based on the true 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 an emotional toll on him.
“I’m no stranger to the physical aspects of the job doing the whole action movie,” the “Spider-Man: Homecoming” actor explained. “But the mental aspect, it really hit me and it took me a long time to recover afterwards, to come back to reality.”