Tom Holland addresses paparazzi pics of him kissing Zendaya

·3 min read

Ever since "Spider-Man" fans witnessed Tom Holland and Zendaya's on-screen chemistry, they've been speculating about a potential real-life relationship between the duo, but both actors have been quite coy on the subject. All that changed over the summer, though, when paparazzi pics of the pair kissing in a car went viral.

In a new interview with GQ, Holland addressed the pictures and revealed why they bothered him so much.

“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,” the 25-year-old told the magazine.

Related: Holland's post fueled ongoing rumors that he and Zendaya are an item.

Holland said he's always been "really adamant" about keeping his "private life private" since he publicly shares so much of his professional life and explained why seeing those unexpected photos go viral felt particularly invasive.

“We sort of felt robbed of our privacy,” he said.

When asked if it was simply an issue of not being prepared to talk about their relationship, the actor offered some refreshing insight.

“I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to,” he said.

Tom Holland and Zenday (MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images)
Tom Holland and Zenday (MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin / GC Images)

Holland is heading out on a global press tour soon, and he knows that the relationship will be the hot topic du jour, but don't expect him to gush about what he and Zendaya are to each other on the red carpet any time soon.

“It’s not a conversation that I can have without her,” he said. “You know, I respect her too much to say… This isn’t my story. It’s our story. And we’ll talk about what it is when we’re ready to talk about it together.”

GQ also caught up with Zendaya, 25, and she offered her own perspective on what it was like to be outed by the paparazzi.

“It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive,” she said. “The equal sentiment (we both share) is just that 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.”

For now, fans will have to settle for little nuggets of info from the pair, like this sweet compliment Holland offered up for Zendaya during his interview.

“Having her in my life was so instrumental to my sanity,” he said, explaining how they initially bonded while filming the "Spider-Man" series. “She is so good at being the role model for young guys and girls. When anyone comes up, like, ‘Can I have a picture?,’ it’s never a bad time. Whereas my initial reaction was: ‘Why are you talking to me? Leave me alone.’ ”

Related: The British actor opened up about how his fellow "Spider-Man" co-star helped him navigate stardom in a new interview.

Holland said he's still learning how to be "on" all the time when fans approach him and added he slips up on occasion. But he now understands why he has such an obligation to be a role model.

“I have to remind myself that being Spider-Man is more of a responsibility than just having a job,” he said. “There are kids out there who are bullied at school who don’t fit in, and Spider-Man is their f------ go-to guy, you know? And at the moment I’m that guy.”