Andrew Garfield on the Spider-Man Advice He's Received
Posted 11.25.10 by Ryan
Kirsten Dunst recently offered some advice to Emma Stone, who is set to play Gwen Stacy in director Marc Webb's upcoming Spider-Man reboot, which was simply "get used to acting to nothing." Andrew Garfield, who takes over as Peter Parker for Tobey Maguire, told MTV he has also received advice on how to approach the character.
I was told by someone who should be listened to — I'm not going to say who it was — he said, "Don't try and live up to it. Don't think you have to live up to what that image and that symbol means to people." And first I thought that was really reassuring. But then you go, "No, I really want to live up to that symbol." When I was 12-years-old I saw the struggle Peter Parker was going through to be of use to society, I wanted to live up to that. And I realized that even Peter Parker is trying to live up to that symbol of Spider-Man he's created. That's what makes him so special: he's undeniably human and going through the same struggles as everyone else. So you try to live up to that symbol and then you have to be OK not living up to it, because not even Peter Parker can do it.
Garfield said he already has experience with "acting with nothing" after acting in 2009's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with the late Heath Ledger. Garfield admitted that he learned from Ledger.
What I learned from watching him in that movie was that it was so honest and specific. Somehow he made this very broad character incredibly honest and human. There's so much to be learned from that, because otherwise during the big fight sequences, who cares, unless you have a good understanding of who the characters fighting are? I'm really excited for Marc Webb, because he's a real stickler for that sort of stuff. He wants everything to come from Peter Parker's dilemma, Gwen Stacy's dilemma, Uncle Ben's dilemma — everyone's struggles, so that in those bigger sequences, it's actually not just a cool fight, but there's heart and specificity.
Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee publicly offered Garfield advice in October, the extent of which was "to be a very simple, everyday, ordinary kid who happens to be good at science and wishes he were more than he is." Garfield found the advice to be "universal."
That's what keeps us getting out of bed in the morning. That's fantastic advice. And coming from Stan Lee, this character is his child and I want to do his vision justice. I want to do him proud. I want to access all of the intentions he had when developing this character. I care very deeply.
The untitled Spider-Man reboot opens on July 3, 2012.