‘Spider-Man’ star Andrew Garfield on fame: ‘It terrifies me’

Aug. 26, 2011 | 11:31 a.m.

Who was the big Hollywood winner at Comic-Con International this year?  Our vote goes to Andrew Garfield and “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the star and film that will ask moviegoers to start over with a new type of wallcrawler in 2012. Our Geoff Boucher caught up with Garfield to talk about arachnid life, fame and his cupcake-baking costar, Emma Stone.

Andrew Garfield (Sony)

GB: Coming into the role, was there anything you felt like you had to avoid as you put together your version of Peter Parker and Spider-Man?

AG: There’s so much to do with it, I didn’t really think about avoiding anything. I just didn’t come at it that way. I wanted him to have fun. I wanted it to feel like Peter Parker could have some fun and wasn’t just trying to save the world. He could have fun even after the responsibility has been thrust upon him and he has to save the city. I really wanted to do something physical that was genuine and authentic and inspired by the different artists over the years. His physicality is something which I’ve been obsessed by and I’ve loved.

GB: All the way back to the earliest comics, there was a distinctive, spindly grace to the character…  

AG: Yeah. What would having spider DNA constituting a percentage of your blood — what would that do? So I studied spiders, I studied their movements and how they operate in the world and I tried to incorporate as much of that as I could. He’s a boy/spider in terms of how he  moves, and not just in the suit. It also shapes the way he interacts with people. A spider is so sensitive; their skin is sensitive to everything. That’s the thing with the spider sense and the way he takes in everything. Imagine all of your skin was as sensitive as a spider, the slightest gust of wind would feel like a tornado going by. You’d always be rushing, that rush. What does that do to you? The idea of how he adjusts to that. And I looked at the idea of having more legs, more arms, and the spacial awareness. A spider moves up, down, side-to-side, all around. He’s not linear and with the knowledge of that  spatial awareness and the fact that he can be here and then over there incredibly fast. The stillness of a spider and the lightness I found all of that very interesting to explore as well.

GB: You’ll be seeing yourself as an action figure soon and on billboards, Slurpee cups, magazine covers everywhere. All over the world, too, people will identify you not as Andrew Garfield the actor but as Spider-Man the hero. How are you preparing for that part of this job?

AG: I don’t like to think about it. It terrifies me. I don’t want that, actually. I just saw that I was given an opportunity to play a part that I’ve been wanting to play since I was a 2-year-old. I don’t see it any other way. I don’t want the rest of it. The visibility thing — the being a more visible actor or just a more visible person in the world — was the one thing that deterred me. That was absolutely the one thing I questioned. Do I want to do this? I thought about it for a month, constantly. I knew there would be a change in my life to an extent. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I stay  part of the world. I want to be able to walk around in this world. I love being alive and I love being a person and I love being able to meet people, meet strangers without them having any preconceived notion of who I am. I love meeting people. I love being me. I don’t want to be anyone else. Of course this comes with a certain life change but I’m going to do everything in my power to hold on to what’s important, which is I am a guy who does a job for a living that comes with some periphery stuff that I’m not interested in. I did take the role, I took it on, and i don’t regret it. It’s meant something to me for all of my life. But I’m going to do my best to remain me.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" (Sony)

GB: More than most superhero franchises, the three “Spider-Man” films to date were defined by the romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. This is a fresh start with new stars, a new director and no Mary Jane, but romance is still central to the film with Emma Stone’s character, Gwen Stacy. What can you tell us about working with her?

AG:  She’s the best. She’s very talented and I knew that going in. I didn’t know how nice she was going to be and how funny and how sweet and how generous she was going to be as a human being. She’s the kind of girl who brings cupcakes in for the crew and doesn’t tell them that they are from her. She really wanted to get under the skin of the character and make something authentic and real. She’s playful and fun and silly and constantly helped me to stay in a place where I didn’t take things too seriously. That’s important for me because I’m pretty serious as a person. It gets on my nerves how serious I can be. So she was a real gift.

– Geoff Boucher


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17 Responses to ‘Spider-Man’ star Andrew Garfield on fame: ‘It terrifies me’

  1. Norm says:

    i dont think he needs to worry-there is ZERO interest in this reboot-the trailer looks terrible-the POV shots? awful-shame on hollywood-the 2002 version is still great-no need to see this new one

  2. Norm says:

    and hes almost 30-playing a teenager? bad bad bad

    • Bob says:

      The 2002 version sucked. Peter Parker was portrayed as an annoying brat, and didn’t display any realistic sign of intellect. The consistently cheesy dialogue kept me cringing throughout, and the poor acting of most involved should be condemned. I can’t imagine why anyone over the age of 12 would have liked that movie. And by the way, Toby McGuire played the role when he was 27, only a year younger than Garfield, and Garfield actually looks like a teenager.

  3. Melanie Holden says:

    A new Spider-Man. A new beginning. Times change. We need to change as well.

  4. Arthur Marcus says:

    This is not the time for petty complaints. This is the time to build the franchise using every single brick available to us even if that brick comes clothed in green and gold.

  5. jose says:

    at 1:41 that would be perfect for a video game

  6. Billy Simmmonds says:

    He's doing great for the part. People always hate on the movie before they actually get a real taste of it. It says more about them than what they are really ranting about. The video is more of a teaser……so lets just be patient. I've got a good feeling this movie won't disappoint.

  7. John Cliff Alvarez says:

    I respect and understand, Andrew. He's going to do one hell of a job on this film. This will definitely be the one that fully actualizes Spider-man for the fact that he's not doing this for the fame, but for his deep love of this beloved character. I have full faith that Andrew will do the web slinger justice!

  8. Thor2Rocks says:

    Spider-Man reboot?

    After movies such as Iron Man 2 and Thor and Avengers in 2012, somehow a teenager in Red and Blue spandex seems a little Twilight-esque. Don't get me wrong, Spider-Man is an great superhero, but after watching Thor travel to Jotunheim and battle 1000 ft Frost Giants, Spider-man fighting The Lizard doesn't strike me as appealing. Plus, Emma (Uglyness defined) Stone as Mary Jane?

    Looks like a DVD watch for me.

    • gloomyc says:

      This is not a place for personal attacks on people – that don't relate to their professional abilities.
      Also FYI, Mary Jane is not appearing in this film. Gwen Stacey is. I detest lack of research.

    • SpiderBat says:

      People like you are just finding reasons to whine about w/e. The truth is all these quote unquote "haters" of this movie who make cute little comments like " I'm not seeing this, looks like a DVD watch, I'll wait for it on cable, can't believe they're re-doing Spider-Man I object" all these jokers are gonna have ticket in hand when this movie comes out -PERIOD- If they didn't really care or disliked the idea I really don't think people would waste their time with even commenting in these public threads. It's human nature to want to throw in your "2 cents" and nit pick at things they care about exp: Spidey, or exp: a critiquing parent- they will judge, and harp, and fuss but only cause they love their kid. Spidey is not just a comic book character but a pop culture icon and he'll do just fine negative feedback or not….Oh boy do I ever love throwing in my "2 cents!" :)

  9. LOOSE CANNON says:

    Any guy who doesn't find Emma the least bit attractive isn't straight, or just can't get girls.

  10. Nathan says:

    This is going to be the best film of 2012, or at the very least, the best superhero hit of 2012. I'm looking forward to seeing how they explore Peter in high school as they only went through that in the first half-hour or so of the 2002 Raimi movie. The other thing that will be good about this movie is that Peter will actually have a sense of humour and won't be a complete dork like in the first three Spider-Man films!

  11. RedVirtue says:

    I sure hope/wish this somehow becomes part of the Marvel Studios film universe… Otherwise what's the point if we can't potentialy see Spidey interact with the rest of the Marvel crew? Or at least effected by the same universe. This looks like an exciting take on the characters and I would like to eventually see Spidey and eventually Wolverine kick ass with the Avengers too. But man with Sony and Fox holding on to these properties it seems way off before it happens so far. I feel comfortable the film will be good and do well though.

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