'Spider-Man' stars discuss their 'Amazing' roles

Garfield, Stone, Leary star in superhero reboot

By Michelle F. Solomon, Contributing writer
 UPDATED 6:28 AM HST Jul 03, 2012
Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man

"The Amazing Spider-Man" comes in with a bang just before the Fourth of July and it's a different Spidey than we've seen in the previous well-known trilogy that starred Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst.

This time, "Spider-Man" takes the story of Peter Parker back to the beginning. While the inspiration for director's Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" films were early Spider-Man comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the reboot uses "Ultimate Spider-Man" books by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley as its point of reference. "The Amazing Spider-Man" focuses on Parker's early days when he is abandoned by his parents, in his present day as a loner who gets bullied in high school and as a teenager who has to deal with the death of his uncle.

During a recent roundtable interview with three of the film's stars, Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spiderman), Dennis Leary (Captain Stacy) and Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), the cast talked about their excitement, involvement in the film and what may be in Spider-Man's movie future.

Dennis Leary in The Amazing Spider-Man

Garfield has made no secret of the fact that "Spider-Man" was his childhood hero. He said he remembers jumping over couches, trying to climb up door wells, and, as he points his wrist for display, trying to shoot spider webs from his arms as a 3-year-old. As he got older, he would recite lines he had memorized that Maguire delivered in the Raimi films.
"Before I was involved in the film, I was just a mere fan who loved the movie trilogy," said Garfield, who was born in Los Angeles, but raised in England. (Everything the actor says sounds so much more proper than the way he speaks as Parker in the new movie.) Garfield is probably best known to audiences for his role in "The Social Network" as Eduardo Saverin, one of the co-founders of Facebook, but "Spider-Man" will, no doubt, be the role that catapults him to super stardom. "My 7-year-old self was leaping for joy within me. And my mid-20-self was leaping for joy externally," Garfield said in a previous interview about the day he received the call that he would play Peter Parker.

The 28-year-old takes his role of the teenage superhero very seriously.

"It was lucky for me that I've loved this character for so long. I had this very loud voice just following me throughout this entire process that kept me close to the core of the character -- to the 'Spider-Man' Stan Lee originally wrote. That voice wouldn't let me sleep, it wouldn't let me rest. I worked morning, noon and night to make sure that the character was served in a way that I would be proud of," Garfield said.

Andrew Garfield with mask off in The Amazing Spider-Man

For Leary, who plays Gwen's father and the NYPD captain whose professional reputation rides on capturing Spider-Man, the actor said he's a self-proclaimed "Batman" fan.

"I never really thought I'd be in a 'Spider-Man' film. I really always dreamed of playing a bad guy in a 'Batman' movie," he said. Leary, best known for FX's "Rescue Me," in which he starred, co-wrote and produced, said his portrayal of a police captain was influenced by relatives who were policemen when he was growing up in Worcester, Mass. "I have cops in my family, a bunch of them -- one of my uncles was a cop. I felt like playing one was second nature to me."
Internet buzz on "Spider-Man" fan sites is that Leary's Captain Stacy returns in the next film, but the actor is hush-hush about it. "I am not allowed to divulge," he said.
One of the most interesting aspects of the "Spider-Man" reboot is the introduction of Gwen Stacy, since the relationship between the superhero and his first love hasn't been explored on film previously.

"I feel like Mary Jane fell in love with Spider-Man. Gwen falls in love with Peter Parker," Stone said. While Garfield and Stone have been linked in the press romantically, Stone casts that notion off when ask about the fiery chemistry between the two on film.

"You can never predict what kind of chemistry you'll have with a co-star, just like you can't predict the chemistry you'll have in real life." She makes the analogy of going to dinner with a good friend who brings along their friend to dinner. "You think about that friend and it's like, 'We wouldn't hang out on our own, but you're fine.' It feels like that every time you meet someone as an actor and you're auditioning. You don't know if they are going to be the friend or the friend they brought along for dinner."

So the next burning question that we tossed to Stone? Will Gwen and Mary Jane cross paths in an upcoming "Amazing Spider-Man" film? The actress remains guarded in her answer. "Um, I believe so. I would assume that they will cross paths. I cannot predict this, but I can only tell you things that I hope will occur," she said.

"The Amazing Spider-Man" opened in theaters on Tuesday, July 3.

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