‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ director Marc Webb reveals how Andrew Garfield won the role
Exclusive new poster for 'The Amazing Spider-Man' (Photo: Columbia Pictures)
I had the opportunity to speak to Marc Webb at WonderCon in Anaheim, CA where he presented fans with a look at unfinished footage from his Marvel Comics' reboot. He revealed the odd, attention-grabbing behavior from Garfield's audition that helped secure him the title role. Plus, Webb discussed the immediate chemistry between Garfield and Emma Stone, who plays his love interest Gwen Stacy, and he explained why this new movie takes the character of Peter Parker back to high school.
Matt McDaniel: For you, what was the moment when you just knew that Andrew was the right guy to play Peter Parker?
Marc Webb: We tested a lot of really talented, wonderful young actors. And there was a moment when -- I mean this sounds ridiculous, but it's true. We were doing a scene that's not in the movie, where he was eating a cheeseburger and telling Gwen to like calm down or to -- trying to put her at ease, while he is eating food. And the way he ate this food -- it was such a dumb task -- such a dumb independent activity that you give to an actor to do, and he did it. [Laughs] I just felt like we were in a diner. We were in the back of the soundstage and I felt like there's something in the way he embodied and committed to that really tiny minutia -- I just hadn't seen before. I can't explain exactly what I felt like it worked, but that was it.
And then beyond that, I just felt he was a new face. That people didn't have a lot of baggage [with him]. He sort of checked all the boxes. And there was this humor that he had and that he can do, and there was this emotional weight that he can do, but there's also a physical capability that he can do. I think the moment was just watching that over and over again. There was something just compelling about his behavior, his physical behaviors that I thought people would really react to. I think that there's the language of the script, which is words, often in dialogues. And then there's the behavior that those words have to emerge from. And he's a master of understanding of what's going on underneath the surface.
MM: Was that chemistry between Andrew and Emma there from the very beginning?
MW: Yeah, we screen tested them together, and she's very funny and really quick and snappy. I remember the first time we screen tested them -- I don't think they'd met before, really -- and he took a minute for him to get back up to speed with her because she was so funny. And then they really brought out really great parts of the other's performance. Of course, it was there, and that's why we cast that dynamic. It was really great to watch it on screen.
MM: The film takes Peter Parker back to high school. Why was that important, what is about the high school setting that's important for the character?