Last year, 6-year-old Latter-day Saint Bridger Walker caught national attention when he shielded his little sister from a charging dog and took a devastating bite to the face. His wound required a two-hour surgery and over 90 stitches. To cheer him up during recovery, Bridger’s aunt posted about the incident on Instagram hoping for words of encouragement from some of Bridger’s favorite superheroes.
The post went viral, and several celebrities reached out to send Bridger inspiration videos. Captain America actor Chris Evans told Bridger, “Pal, you’re a hero,” and Robert Downey Jr., who played Iron Man, told Bridger he was a “rockstar” and asked him to give him a call on his next birthday for a special surprise.
But Tom Holland, the actor who plays Spiderman, had perhaps the biggest surprise for Bridger of all: he invited the family to come and see him on set of Spiderman: No Way Home. Filming for the movie hadn’t started yet, so Bridger had to be patient, but Tom Holland made good on his promise and welcomed the whole Walker family to the set.
“The look on the kids’ faces was priceless when we rounded the blue-screen to see Tom, in full costume, high above the set on a light post. It was emotional to see him wave at the kids like he was the one that was supposed to be excited, not the other way around,” Bridger’s dad, Robert, posted on Instagram.
Tom came down from the light post and had a Spiderman mask ready to give to Bridger. He and actress Zendaya coached him on how to pose like Spiderman.
“I will never forget the grace and kindness [Tom and Zendaya] showed our children. Zendaya immediately approached my teenage daughter and told her how much she loved her nails. I don’t know if she will ever know how much that simple act means to me—to see my sweet daughter light up with self-confidence and joy,” Robert wrote.
Robert spoke highly of the whole experience, calling the cast and crew “good, kind, and passionate people” who made his kids feel like stars. Bridger even got to go for a swing with Tom.
“They don’t just act the part of friendly neighborhood heroes—that’s what they truly are,” Robert wrote, later adding of Tom and his brother Harry, “I cannot imagine there are more humble and gracious young men in all of Hollywood than the Holland boys.”
Details of the Walker family’s trip to the movie set was shared on the popular Instagram account @goodnews_movement. Within three hours the post had over 100K likes.
When Bridger’s heroism attracted so much attention last year, the Walker family denied offers of financial help and instead encouraged people to donate to charity and to show more love to people around them. In an official statement they said:
“After Bridger’s actions, our family has settled on a simple request: may we each actively strive to bear one another’s burdens; stand up for and protect those that are weak, oppressed, or those whom the world might forsake; mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and love one another. May we follow Bridger’s example, approach the world as a child, and bring greater peace to our own homes, communities, states, and countries.”