Columbia Pictures releases The Amazing Spider-Man nationwide on July 3rd, 2012.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What drew you to the role of Spider-Man/Peter Parker?
Andrew Garfield: At first I had read for Matt Lorenzetti really early on, maybe like two weeks after the reboot was announced, for Mary Jane, and Iíd always wanted to play Mary Jane, I thought Mary Jane was so great. And then a couple months went by and they called me again and they said, ďWeíd like you to audition, but the part is Gwen Stacy.Ē And I was like, ďWell, I donít know who Gwen Stacy is.Ē Because I hadnít read the comic books growing up. So I looked into the story of Gwen and then I just fell in love with Gwenís story because it is so incredibly epic and tragic and incredible in the way that it affects Peter going forward with Mary Jane, who is another character that I love obviously, was enormous. So I took the opportunity to audition and met Andrew at the audition and got to act with him for the first time, and he is one of the best actors Iíve ever worked with and I instantly knew how much I could learn from him and that really, really drew me to that challenge, rising to meet him every day was something really exciting and was a huge growing and learning experience for me, so it was a combination of things.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How were you able to shake the role off physically and emotionally?
AG: I didnít shake it off. I kind of didnít sleep very much. I dedicated myself to it really, I did. Itís embarrassing to say, but I really did. I really wanted to. Itís a weird thing, itís like we all have that one fictional character that we care about so, so much, and if ever the opportunity came along for any of us to play it, to serve it, to do it justice, when that moment comes you go, ďOh my god, I canít. Iím not allowed to sleep, IĎm not allowed to think about anything else. Like, I need to dedicate everything to this person thatís given me so much in my life. I want to give all of myself to it.Ē So I didnít. I didnít shake it off. Next time I might because I love sleeping and eating and all that, and I realize that obviously you have to look after yourself to bring your best game to the field. So, it was tough.
NYC MOVIE GURU: How would you describe Spider-Man's work? Do you think he's a vigilante?
AG: I think whatís cool about this movie is that he discovers, he discovers the power of what heís created. He doesnít create the symbol with any kind of high-mindedness. He creates it so he can protect himself because heís searching for his uncleís killer. And I think that he is a vigilante for a period of this story, this particular story, and I think itís true for any teenager who goes through that amount of tragic events to have those impulses to kick out and rebel and use their powers in a way theyíre not thinking responsiblyótheyíre not even thinking at all. I think that that whole section is Peter running away from his feelings, Peter running away from the pain, the guilt, and putting it into something physical and sweating it out. And when he comes home to Aunt May thatís a very difficult moment to be seen in that way and to see himself in that way. So yeah, I feel like there is a period where heís acting out of those kinds of impulses and he accidentally discovers that heís created something bigger than him that can be used for good. And itís important to me that he started with the heroic impulse without the physical power to do anything with it. And that was always how I felt growing up, I always felt like an underdog and I was a skinny kid, and now Iím not, obviously Iím a huge bruiser of a tank, so I got over that problemóno, no, now I just realize that being skinny is okay. You know? Itís like I always thought I should have been bigger for some reason because society tells you that, or like everyone played rugby, and I played rugby and I was good at it, but I got concussed all the time because I was a weakling. So that was something I always identified with for Peter, that he always felt stronger on the inside than he did on the outside, and thereís nothing better than seeing a skinny guy beat the crap out of big guys, so that was kind of an important thing.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of preparation did you do to nail the teenage elements of your role? Did you do any kind of research?
AG: I agree that the teenage element is incredibly vital to this particular superhero and this person, this character. The fact that he goes through the same stuff I went through, that's why I love him so much because I felt like I was him, and that's why everyone feels like he's him because he's all of us. He really is. So the teenage thing, I don't know. I did spend time in Queens hanging out with teenagers and a lot of recording the voice and intonation and picking up phrases that I might not be aware of or a general attitude. That malaise and the awkward shyness - every aspect. There was a great book I found for inspiration called Teenage , which is a book of photographs. he energy of the photos in that is what I wanted to capture. It's tongue on tongue. It's just head out the window, that need to express, that need to kick the walls down irrationally. Which, when you combine that with being a superhero, that is kind of exciting. There's that scene on Gwen's bedroom floor where she's nursing me and we have an intimate, kind of heavy moment of like she's terrified I'm going to die and I'm terrified of what I've done to my mentor. At the end of that scene it's, "Let's just get out of here. We've got to get out of here." In a previous version----we shot a lot more----we have a date night where it's expressive and free and teenage and romantic and silly. But that feeling is something that I really wanted to capture, especially in those moments between Gwen and Peter.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What kind of training did you do to prepare for the physicalities of your role?
AG: Itís so nice to be able to look at the movie and feel ownership. Itís a really nice thing to be able to feel thatóbecause of Andy, because of Andyís trust of me and his encouragement of me, and there was something specific that I wanted to do with the physicality that wasnít just a guy in a suit throwing kicks and punches and saying cheesy lines. I wanted it to be a spider boy, in the way that if weíre grounding this film in reality, then what happens when spider DNA is running through your bloodstream? What happens? And what happens to this teenage boy whoís fidgety and nervous and canít really keep still? He discovers that he can now have patience, you know, like a spider. That was really fun, and there was a lot of great physical stuff that made it, like for instance that scene where I get all the food out of the fridge, the kind of spatial awareness you have and the stillness, like Peter doesnít move like that, Peter doesnít glide like thatóbefore the spiderbite. And the way heís moving around the space, heís kind of moving around the wall as opposed to just walking straight through and pulling through the room. Heís kind of like moving with his back to the wall and the thing dropped off the thing and he was able to catch it with his elbow and he was fine and he wasnít even fazed by it. That kind of thing is fun to play with. But then of course the training is horribleóthe physical training to change my body, cause Iím a lazy guy, and Iím vain, but Iím not vain enough to care about the gym. Armando Alacorne is my trainer, and heís a fantastic trainer and a terrible person. And I have very mixed, very confused feelings about Armando, and wherever he is he knows that. Heís hiding from me because he will be murdered one day at my hand, no, but we had a great time and I was thankful for himó--he kept me on an even keel the whole time, and that combined with the stunt team was a pretty awesome experience. NYC MOVIE GURU: Did you have any issues with wearing the Spider-Man costume?
AG: I had many issues with that costume. But thatís the weird thing---every actor who plays a superhero is like, ďThe costume sucked.Ē We should just get together to talk about it because itís so inappropriate to talk about in public, because how dare we complain. Weíre the ones who get to wear it. Itís the dream, but it was so terrible to wear. Yhe fantasy of wearing those costumes is really great, so just enjoy that.