Spider-Man co-stars Zendaya and Tom Holland had a little public flirtation on Instagram on Wednesday, and fans were beside themselves. The couple just recently made their relationship official and public, and they wasted no time in taking it to social media. Since Wednesday was Zendaya’s birthday, Holland posted a photo of them together, and Zendaya was quick to respond.
“My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays. Gimme a call when your [sic] up xxx,” Holland wrote, referencing Zendaya’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She responded: “Calling now” with a red heart emoji. The comments were alongside a photo of them in a dressing room together. Holland was in costume as Spider-Man below the neck, with cuts and scrapes painted onto his face. Zendaya crouched over his shoulder, taking their photo in the brightly lit mirror with an old-school point-and-shoot camera.
Zendaya turned 25 on Wednesday, while Holland turned 25 back in June. Their characters finally admitted their feelings for each other in 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, and about a year later rumors began to circulate that they were dating in real life. Some pictures of them kissing and being affectionate began to appear just this summer, and they finally confirmed the news themselves in August, as they began attending events together.
Rumors that Holland and Zendaya were dating in real life technically go back as far as 2017 according to a report by PEOPLE, although those are dubious at best. They were both romantically linked to other people in the years since, but remained publicly friendly on social media and in the press. They even commented on the romance rumors dismissively, saying they were just friends.
“We are like the best of friends. She’s so great and amazing,” Holland said of in a 2017 interview with PEOPLE. “I’m a little worried [about dealing with fame … but] Zendaya is super famous and she’s been through this and I just call her up and say, ‘How do I manage being famous?’ I’m very glad I have a friend like her.”
Around the same time, Zendaya told Variety: “We are friends. He’s a great dude. He’s literally one of my best friends. 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.”
Still, sources said that the stars’ chemistry was undeniable, as they shared a similar ambition and outlook on their work. Fans will see them together back on screen as Peter Parker and MJ when Spider-Man: Far From Home premieres on Dec. 17, 2021.