You have to hand it to VMAN magazine for coming up with a unique angle on the whole “Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man” thing: Have former Spidey Tobey Maguire interview him. Even though it’s a print interview, you can still feel the awkwardness seeping in, since after all, Tobey didn’t get chosen to play Peter Parker in the reboot after the disastrous Spider-Man 3.
Maybe it’s because whoever transcribed this didn’t see the need to capitalize names and proper nouns, but Andrew comes across seeming better than Tobey in many ways. Even as the older actor is nervously second-guessing his questions, Andrew’s answers are consistently eloquent and charming. It’s also really difficult to tell how comfortable Tobey is with not getting called back. Andrew seems to avoid all mentions of the red-and-black elephant in the room at first, until Tobey prompts him:
TM And do you feel—I don’t want to say confined or imply any negativity— but the schedule of a broadway show can be long and hard, portraying a character day after day.
AG I think this is enough to be contending with right now. The only other thing that’s been preying on my mind is the impending release of this movie I’ve done, and that is much more stressful than being on stage every night.
TM [Laughs] Would that be the release of The Amazing Spider-Man?!
AG That’s the one! Do you know about this movie? [Laughs]
TM I do know about it! actually, 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. 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, Fucking perfect!
AG Oh, man!
TM 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.
AG That’s so nice of you.
It’s the eternal cynic in me, but I wonder how genuinely Tobey was excited for Andrew. Maybe he really does envision The Amazing Spider-Man as an entirely different entity from the Spider-Man trilogy he was part of: They’re separated by half a decade, have entirely different directors, and even hit different emotional points in Peter Parker’s life. Or maybe this is all bullshit for a magazine interview.
Like I said, it would be easier to read if the two of them were on-camera having this awkward discussion. What’s interesting is that Andrew seems to have rivalry on the mind, as he shares an anecdote from the audition process. We’re used to him being the frontrunner, but it turns out he was just as nervous about getting the part:
I’m friends with a few of the guys who were up for it, and I actually had dinner with Jamie [Bell] the night of my screen test and his screen test. We compared notes and war stories, and we kind of got past the ridiculousness of it all and thought it would be a nice idea to get everyone together and kind of interview each other about how messed up the process is, being against each other, and remember that we’re all in it together, knowing that when you take off that bodysuit someone else is going to be stepping into your sweat immediately after.
It’s a weird kind of cattle call. But Marc [Webb] was great. He was very open and encouraging. You have the monitoring area with literally about 30 people judging you, looking at your face and whispering to each other—it’s one of the most disconcerting and kind of humiliating things to go through, if you’re aware of it, you know what I mean?
Tobey says, “I completely understand,” and yet we get the sense that he doesn’t. He himself admits that when Spider-Man came out in 2002, it was an entirely different atmosphere for movies and opening weekends. There wasn’t the same mainstream buzz as there is now for The Amazing Spider-Man. It’s a whole different era.