When it was announced in 2010 that actor Andrew Garfield would be Spider-Man in a new series of movies, the obvious question was how Tobey Maguire, who played Spider-Man in the phenomenally successful trilogy about the comic book hero from 2002 to 2007 felt about the casting. Maguire reveals his reaction and offers some advice to the new Spidey in a conversation between the two featured in the new issue of VMAN magazine.
Maguire, 36, made it clear that he was a fan of Garfield, who appeared in "The Social Network" and "Never Let Me Go" before taking on the superhero role, from the start. "When it was coming together, I was particularly excited at two moments: one was when [director] Marc Webb got involved. I think he's an interesting and cool choice," Maguire says of the "(500) Days of Summer" filmmaker. "And then I was certainly curious as to who was going to play Peter Parker. When I heard it was you, I was literally like, f---ing perfect! I just want it to be great, and I thought, what a great actor Andrew is, I'm glad that's what's happening here."
Garfield, 28, admits that he has mixed feelings about his role of a lifetime, which incidentally enabled him to turn his on-screen girlfriend, actress Emma Stone, into his main squeeze in real life too. While Garfield's excited to take on the role of Spidey and his alter ego Peter Parker, he's also nervous about how playing such a famous character will affect his life. "Right now I have a host of fears that I'm contending with on a minute-to-minute basis. I'm not in the reality of it yet, so I'm sure I'm imagining it will be much worse than it is," Garfield says. "I admire you so much because you're an actor and that's all you've ever been and all you ever will be," he gushes to Maguire. "It must be very hard to hold on to the simple fact of wanting to be an actor, to tell stories and not have your image become bigger than your art. Do you have a recollection of a definite change, or was it a seamless thing?"
Before "Spider-Man," Maguire was probably best known for 1998 dramedy "Pleasantville," which grossed $50 million worldwide and the 1999 drama "The Cider House Rules," which took in $88.5 million. So his life was really different once "Spider-Man" became the first movie ever to earn more than $100 million in its opening weekend. The "Spider-Man" trilogy starring Maguire went on to earn $2.5 billion worldwide. "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," Maguire notes. "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 then that happened with us." Maguire admits that he had been told about what would happen to him after the flick, but he was far from prepared. "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," he says. "So much shifted in my life the weekend the movie came out. It was shocking. I'd been making movies for a while so I had experienced some attention. But then, all of a sudden, the Sunday after it was released, I remember I went to lunch with my little brothers and there were all these people outside and photographers — it was a lot more attention than what I was used to."
Of course, Garfield has an idea of what's in store for him as well, but he won't really know until the movie comes out on July 3. For now at least, he seems to have a healthy attitude about it. "I'm the guy in the suit and there'll be another guy in the suit later on down the line. 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," Garfield explains. "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. For the sake of all the people who care about it as much as I do — I want to bring the character to life and make sure they're as satisfied as they can possibly be."
Near the end of their talk, Maguire offers Garfield one piece of advice: "Just remember to enjoy the ride," he advises his successor. "It will be fun, I'm sure. And weird. And all kinds of things. But enjoy the ride. And then get back to work soon!"
Read the full interview in the latest issue of VMAN magazine.
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