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Tom Holland: 'Quinoa is a nightmare'

Published 11/12/2015

Tom Holland
Tom Holland

Tom Holland experienced "ridiculous stomachaches" after pigging out following months of near-starvation.

Actor Tom Holland never wants to recreate the hellish experience of eating nothing but quinoa for months at a time.

The 19 year old had to restrict his diet tremendously to portray his starved character in director Ron Howard's new movie, In the Heart of the Sea, and the restrictions were so severe, being famished was not something he had to fake while filming scenes.

"A lot of quinoa, which is a nightmare," he told Variety of the food he consumed while shooting the picture. "Little bits of chicken. Sometimes porridge, if we were lucky. We’d have a boiled egg every day. Eventually it got down to about 500 calories a day."

Tom wasn't the only one ravenous throughout the shoot, as his co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy were also forced to forfeit their favourite foods.

When In the Heart of the Sea wrapped filming, the actors pigged out on every type of calorific treat they could get their hands on.

"(Director) Ron took us to this really fancy restaurant — and we basically just wanted burgers and pizza," Tom recalled. "So we ate all these crazy rich foods, and all got ridiculous stomachaches."

In the Heart of the Sea centres on the real life story of the Essex whaling ship, which sank in 1820 after being attacked by a whale - this event inspired author Herman Melville's canonised novel Moby Dick.

Surviving crewmembers of the Essex engaged in cannibalism to stay alive and in light of this horror, Tom feels very grateful to have been subjected to a strict quinoa diet for so long.

"This film demonstrates survival is the most powerful instinct man possesses," Tom said. "My character eats his own friend. It’s pretty horrific what those poor men went through.

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