When Andrew Garfield was 3-years-old he dressed as Spider-Man for Halloween. Twenty-seven years later, the actor is portraying Peter Parker, the teenager who is bitten by a spider, giving him supernatural powers, in the new movie The Amazing Spider-Man.
How would you describe the work that Spider-Man does, as he is kind of a vigilante?
What’s cool about this movie is that he discovers the power of what he’s created. He doesn’t create this symbol with any kind of high-mindedness, he creates it so that he protects himself when he’s searching for his uncle’s killer.
I think that he is a vigilante for that period of this particular story.
But then he realizes he’s created something bigger than him that can be used for good. It was important to me that he started with an heroic impulse, without the physical power to do anything with it.
Peter Parker is a hero, not a superhero. He’s already good before the spider bites him. After that he gets the power to act on what he already knows is right.
What was the experience like learning how to swing like Spider-Man on the rigs?
[Stunt coordinator] Andy Armstrong kind of turned into a father figure for me for this film, and remains that way. His team are the safest group of hands you could ever hope to meet. They’re passionate, supportive and loving.
Andy pushed me. There were things that I was scared about and, like any good father, he told me, ‘Go beyond what you think you can do, because you might surprise yourself.’
So for that reason it was a spiritual, overwhelming experience to work with him. I wanted to do this since I was 3-years-old, and I got to live it for a second.
What was the most challenging aspect of doing the movie?
The only thing that was a challenge was that it was difficult to get into a rhythm because of the 3D cameras. The new technology was difficult for everyone involved. It takes a lot of care and delicacy, so it meant that we [had to stop the cameras] occasionally.
Why do you think Spider-Man continues to be such a popular superhero?
The character has meant a great deal to me since I was a child. I sometimes felt trapped in my own skin, but we all have that. That’s why this character is the most popular of all the superheroes; he is universal and uniting.
He’s a symbol, an imperfect person in the way that we’re all imperfect, but trying so hard to do what is right, what is just, and fighting for the people who can’t fight for themselves.
It’s overwhelming to represent him – and believe me, I’m just the guy in the suit. I’m honored to be that, but Spider-Man belongs to everyone.
Andrew was asked if he had ever heard from Tobey Maguire, who previously played Spider-Man? Click below to listen to his answer.
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