Andrew Garfield's slipping into the Spidey suit for a second go at playing Peter Parker in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." He spoke with Yahoo! Movies at this year's Comic-Con about, among other things, which in-universe villain he'd like to play, off-set shenanigans, and whatever happened to Mary Jane.
BRYAN ENK: What's easier and what's harder about playing this character for the second time?
ANDREW GARFIELD: What's easier, I'll tell you what's easier — what's easier is nothing. [laughs] What's harder … I don't know, I don't know if there is such a thing, I think it's all just the same — I just stress out. [laughs] I just stress at the same level. Actually, you know what, I think what's easier is that we're not retreading old ground with an origin story.
We've established this guy now, we've established this world and set it apart from Sam Raimi's, and the blessing is we get to really explore this universe now, as opposed to justifying it. On the first movie there was a lot of energy spent justifying it, which is a bummer, and trying to reinvent the wheel, which is impossible, it's been done, and pointless. You know, you have to surrender to certain things within the canon and certain beats in his origin, but now thankfully we've done that and we can now focus on making it our own.
BE: Mary Jane Watson was originally going to be in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" but ended up being cut. Does not having that character in the film make sense for the story or is it something you wish could've worked out?
AG: The reason why I would've liked it to have been in it is Shailene [Woodley], because she's so talented and because she did just beautiful work. I only did a couple of scenes with her but gosh, it was just beautiful to hang with her and work with her. She is not only an incredibly talented, gifted actress with great craft but also she's one of the better people you'll meet.
So that's a bummer. But in the sense of storytelling, it didn't quite make sense to introduce another girl. The idea neutralizes the budding and growing relationship between Gwen and Peter. There's a reason why when Shakespeare wrote "Romeo and Juliet," after Romeo met Juliet, he didn't introduce another attractive female character that could be a shoulder to lean on. You know what I mean? After wherever he gets banished to, you know? [laughs] Dramatically it just unfortunately didn't really match up with what our story needed to be.
But yes, it's a bummer — I'll go on record and say it's a bummer that those scenes won't be seen because she just killed it and she was perfect.
BE: They recently released a production photo of Jamie Foxx in full-on Electro mode. Do you remember your reaction when you first saw him in the complete get-up?
AG: Yeah, yeah, yeah! I mean, well, what we see now in the images is not what I saw, that's with visual effects added, so that was the first time I had seen that. I love it — [director] Marc's [Webb] inspiration was electrical storms and I think they've done a beautiful job with that. But when he was on set he had the blue makeup on and yeah he's a force to be reckoned with, for sure.
BE: In an alternate universe where you weren't cast as Spider-Man but rather one of his enemies, which Spider-Man villain would you most want to play?
AG: Oohhhh, yeah, cool! Cool question, that's a great question, I haven't really … gosh … it would be interesting to try and make Kraven [the Hunter] work, cinematically. It would be proper hard, but it would be a great challenge. I don't think I'm the correct physical type [laughs], but … I would say Doc Ock, but [Alfred] Molina nailed that [in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 2"], there's no way around, there's no way past that. But yeah, Kraven, I think it would be a challenge, you know, to make it not camp. [laughs]
BE: Is there a particular scene or moment in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" that you can't wait for an audience to see, both as an actor and as a big fan of the character yourself?
AG: Hmm … let me start by saying that I'm really excited about the whole film, I'm genuinely excited about the whole movie, I think it's … I have faith in it. And that is scary to admit, you know what I mean? [laughs] But I really, really do, I have a lot of faith in it, because the writing on this one by Alex Kurtzman and Bob Orci, they've written something quite special and beautiful and layered and exciting and big and small with one thematic thru-line and they've drawn very detailed characters. So I'm really, really excited, generally, about the film.
In terms of a sequence or a scene or a moment … when you're in it, you're in it, you can't really be objective about it. I'm excited to be surprised, and the thing I'm going to be surprised about are the special effects and what those magicians will do because that's something that's completely out of my sphere of knowledge and something that I can just be a movie-goer for. And I know that we have an incredible team here.
BE: Is there any particular day or moment from the set that just felt really good or that you're especially proud of?
AG: There was a moment when I went and played some basketball with some kids between takes, that was probably my favorite day. That was my favorite day because that felt like more than just a movie — we're not just doing a movie, we're representing a character that means so much to so many, and to be able to do that and be on the ground throwing a basketball around with a couple of kids who were kind of bemused and were a bit like … don't quite know what's going on was really a favorite memory for me.
BE: They got to go home and say they played basketball with Spider-Man.
AG: Right. [laughs] Actually, they really didn't give a crap, they were like very cool inner-city kids. They were really unflappable. I was like "Can I play ball with you?" and you're expecting them to be like "Hey, it's Spider-Man!" but they were like "Yeah." [shrugs] [laughs]
BE: Something Spider-Man himself might appreciate.
AG: [laughs] Right, exactly.