Andrew Garfield Talks about Landing the Role of SPIDER-MAN and More

     January 11, 2011


Without a doubt, 2010 was a big year for Andrew Garfield. Along with his outstanding supporting role in the critically acclaimed Oscar darling The Social Network, he was equally impressive in the powerful Never Let Me Go. To top it all off, he also landed the role of Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s reboot of the web slinging franchise. However, don’t try and get any straight answers from him about the role itself. When asked about taking over this immensely popular role, he tells Details,

“I see it as a massive challenge in many ways. To make it authentic. To make the character live and breathe in a new way. The audience already has a relationship with many different incarnations of the character. I do, as well. I’m probably going to be the guy in the movie theater shouting abuse at myself. But I have to let that go. No turning back. And I wouldn’t want to.”

Hit the jump for more.  Marc Webb’s 3D Spider-Man reboot is due out July 3, 2012.

Most of the time, when a star is shooting a role of this magnitude, they tend to disappear for a while during filming. Because of the aforementioned films, he is continually doing press and has done a masterful job of saying a lot of nothing about Spider-Man. Yet, Garfield does reveal interesting tidbits about landing the role, his blossoming fame, and going primal in Social and Never Let Me Go. What is clear in the interview is that Garfield is whip-smart and is an excellent choice for the role. Amy Pascal, cochair of Sony Pictures, says Garfield has “both vulnerability and masculinity all at once, which is very rare.”

The article by Jeff Gordinier is a fascinating snap shot of Garfield right before shooting began on the reboot. Among the interesting revelations is that Garfield was flown out to Cancún with a few Social Network costars to promote a slate of Sony films not long after auditioning for the role of Spider-Man. Rumors swirled that Sony would announce the role of Spider-Man that week. The group was invited to a private dinner party where someone at the table was trying to pry answers out of Pascal about the casting, who kept deflecting the awkward questions. “Andrew assumed my silence meant that he didn’t get it,” Pascal recalls. “I practically broke into tears. This poor kid—who is Spider-Man—was going to be in for a terrible 24 hours.” Garfield was feeling exactly that. “I felt disappointed,” he says. “I felt exposed. It was one of the most awkward fucking things ever.”

The next afternoon, Garfield was called into Pascal’s suite. Marc Webb opened the door, with producers and champagne ready to go. He’d landed the part, but suddenly felt an inner struggle.

“I realized immediately how much hard work it was going to be,” Garfield says, “how much of a minefield it was going to be in terms of all the shit that comes with it. Stuff that I would like to not have any part of. I mean visibility and being recognized walking down the street. I’m holding out a naïve and ignorant hope that it won’t happen.”

That won’t happen, yet Garfield’s inner child yearned for the chance to play Spider-Man. He grew up loving this character and dove in. However, don’t ask him to watch the finished product.

“If I watch myself, then I suddenly have a bunch of things that I’m scared to do,” Garfield reasons. “It just upsets me. I’ve stopped reading reviews, as well. If one is negative, you hold on to that. It was killing me. It was holding me back from being creative and being free.”

However, nothing was more freeing than his outbursts of rage in The Social Network and Never Let Me Go. Eduardo Saverin, Garfield’s normally reserved character in The Social Network, has been slowly squeezed out of the company and in a powerful scene takes the laptop of partner Mark Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) and smashes it to pieces. He then erupts into a furious torrent of disdain.

“That day and night of shooting was one of my favorite experiences,” Garfield reveals. “I was actually proud of myself because I didn’t care what I was doing. I was literally not judging myself. And it was so fucking beautiful for a second. I’ve gone through my whole life caring deeply what people think of me. That was probably one of the first times where I didn’t care for a second. And it was liberating. I felt more like a man than I’ve ever felt.”

Garfield had a similar moment in which his character from Never Let Me Go relapses into a child-like fit of despair and anger, screaming into the sky. “It had a profound effect on the crew,” says director Mark Romanek. “After we shot that scene, we packed up in dead silence. For Andrew it was a complete and utter catharsis—there was no restraint or thought. He translates all that cerebral stuff into something visceral.”

One can only hope that the script for Spider-Man will let him show that visceral side again. However the finished product turns out, I will certainly be keeping an eye on Garfield’s career. Let us know what you think about Garfield’s casting in the comments below and make sure to check out the full article.

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