It’s been five years since Andrew Garfield played Eduardo Saverin in A Social Network, the role that — along with his turn in Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 — landed him the juicy role of Spider-Man, and it’s been five years since Andrew Garfield has played anything other than Spider-Man on film. As Rebecca noted in talking about his upcoming film, 99 Steps, Garfield’s so good he’ll make you hate the Amazing Spider-Man movies even more for keeping him out of movies that deserve him for the past few years.
It’s true, too. We got to see so little of Garfield’s amazing acting talents before Spider-Man took him away, and I get the sense from comments in recent interviews that Garfield is as relieved as we are that he’s doing other things.
In fact, I think he feels like he let down The Amazing Spider-Man. Here’s what he said in a recent roundtable interview about what he learned from being Spider-Man (via ZakIsCorner).
Well, nothing, because I was never Spider-Man. Because Spider-Man’s a fictional character. He’s not real. [laughs] You know what’s funny, to give you the vulnerable answer, I thought I was going to be Spider-Man, you know? I went into it going…ego shit came in. It’s like, “Okay, here it is. I’m f***ing Spider-Man. I f***ing made it.” All that shit. [laughs] I didn’t actually make it. I was never Spider-Man.
I was the actor that I am. The person that I am. Struggling with trying to match up with something that I’d elevated so high in my mind. Elevated beyond what I could attain, what I could achieve. The great thing is, that’s what Peter Parker was doing as well. Peter Parker created this symbol that he couldn’t live up to. It was never enough. He never felt enough, and I never felt enough. I never felt like I was able to do enough. And I couldn’t rescue those films…even though I didn’t sleep. [laughs]
And I wanted to…not to say that I needed to rescue those films, but I couldn’t make them as deep and soulful and…life-giving as I could ever dream. And I’m never gonna be able to do that, with any film. It was especially difficult in that situation because…well, just because. And it was especially important because that character has always meant so much to me, and you saw that if you saw the Comic Con thing, which, thank you for reminding me about that.
Aw, man. Peter Parked created a symbol he couldn’t live up to, just like Garfield didn’t think he lived up to Peter Parker.
You know what, Mr. Garfield. You were a better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire, and as I’ve said before, and as TK wrote in his review: If Garfield and Stone were first, they’d have been a legendary pairing. But they were second. They were in the reboot that nobody wanted. They had to suffer through another origin story. They were saddled with a director better suited to a different genre, and a script that was rushed together so that Sony could keep the rights.
It wasn’t Garfield’s fault. Or Emma Stone’s. They were fantastic. The system let them down.
But he’s not disappointed he’s not doing another one. He told Uproxx’s Mike Ryan that he pushed for Sony to join forces with Marvel, but that he wasn’t even negotiating a third movie on behalf of himself, because — it seems — the writing was already on teh wall.
With the next Spider-Man movie, you can just watch it like the rest of us.h.
Exactly, yeah. And I’ve been petitioning to hook up with Marvel since the beginning, so I’m really glad they’re finally doing it.
Were you ever in talks with Marvel to continue on as Peter?
No. To be honest [pauses], all the ins and outs of what happened is a more tender conversation that maybe I don’t want to talk about in public in a press situation. But all I can say is that I’m stoked to go and watch a Marvel film of Spider-Man.
… But, anyway, it wasn’t meant to be. As I say, I’m just really excited that I get to watc
A guy as sensitive and thoughtful as that? I’m happy that we’ll be able to see him in other films now. Maybe The Amazing Spider-Man will be to him what Prince of Persia was to Jake Gyllenhaal — the failure that set off a string of exceptional movies with exceptional performances.