Andrew Garfield is about to enter a whole new level of celebrity that will come along with the July 3rd release of The Amazing Spider-Man. Who better to prepare him for it than the last actor who played the friendly neighborhood superhero?
Tobey Maguire recently sat down with the young man who is continuing the web slinger's legacy in director Marc Webb's reboot.
A decade after his tenure as one of Marvel's biggest superheroes began (and broke all sorts of box office records), the veteran actor asked his replacement about the audition process, the price of fame, and his respect for Peter Parker.
TOBEY MAGUIRE: What was the process? How did you end up being the guy?
Andrew Garfield: It was pretty basic, apart from it being more dragged out and pressure-filled and dramatic than any other audition process I've ever been through. They like to put you through the ringer, in the respect that it creates drama and tension among a generation of actors … we're all in it together, knowing that when you take off that bodysuit someone else is going to be stepping into your sweat immediately after. It's a weird kind of cattle call. But Marc [Webb] was great. He was very open and encouraging. You have the monitoring area with literally about 30 people judging you, looking at your face and whispering to each other—it's one of the most disconcerting and kind of humiliating things to go through, if you're aware of it, you know what I mean?
TOBEY MAGUIRE: Yeah, I completely understand. What kind of effect has this had on you?
Andrew Garfield: The main thing I'm thinking about and worrying about is what happens after this movie comes out. What was your experience when you became Spider-Man in people's eyes? I'm interested to hear what you have to say about the whole life change that it brings.
TOBEY MAGUIRE: I think our thing was a little bit different because movies hadn't been doing the sort of opening-weekend business that's fairly common — even expected — today. The first Harry Potter came out about six months before us and it was this phenomenon from Day one. It was so wild because it was a new thing at that moment — and I'm not saying that hasn't happened in movie history, but at the time that was a big jump. and then that happened with us. People didn't anticipate it to be like that. Leading up to it you start to get reactions and people tell you, you know, what the tracking is and what range your opening weekend box office is likely to be. but for me it was kind of unexpected. So much shifted in my life the weekend the movie came out. It was shocking.
Andrew Garfield: This whole celebrity myth is very new and interesting to me, whether one can just be an actor and also be in one of these roles.
TOBEY MAGUIRE: This celebrity thing, it's a part of our culture. It's just what happens. How I've adjusted over the years is that essentially I try to embrace the reality of my life, to be as open and as friendly as feels natural and try not to hide because the attention can be uncomfortable at times.
Andrew Garfield: Right. I just feel such a great responsibility to the story and to the fans, because I know in my heart how much this character means to people, because it means that much to me … I want to bring the character to life and make sure they're as satisfied as they can possibly be.
TOBEY MAGUIRE: A lot of what you've been talking about, the connectivity between you and the story and the fans, it seems like you have a great respect for the character.
Andrew Garfield: Very much so. Peter Parker is such a positive character — he's pure wish fulfillment, an underdog. I grew so much from him when I was a kid, from the comics all the way up to the first movie you were in. I was 19 when I saw [Spider-Man]. I got a pirated dvd at portobello Market with my friend Terry Mcguiness, and we went back to my skanky apartment in North London and we watched it twice in a row and then practiced your final line in the mirror! Terry has this thick accent and every time I would recite that line he would laugh this very distinct laugh and say, "No, man, you could never be f*cking Spider-Man. You'll never be f*cking Spider-Man!" I was so humiliated and upset. But, um…f*ck you, Terry!
[Image via WENN.]