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Was Andrew Garfield hired to play Spider-Man because of the way he ate a cheeseburger?

04.18.2012

In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, director Marc Webb dished quite a bit about his journey on THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, from casting to the high school setting, and the themes covered in the film:

On casting Andrew Garfield based on his cheeseburger eating skills:

"We were doing a scene that's not in the movie, where he was eating a cheeseburger and telling Gwen to like calm down or to -- trying to put her at ease, while he is eating food.  And the way he ate this food -- it was such a dumb task -- such a dumb independent activity that you give to an actor to do, and he did it. [Laughs] I just felt like we were in a diner.  We were in the back of the soundstage and I felt like there's something in the way he embodied and committed to that really tiny minutia -- I just hadn't seen before. I can't explain exactly what I felt like it worked, but that was it."

On the high school setting:

"There's an adolescent quality to a lot of the "Spider-Man" [comics] that I liked, that is really important in terms of the DNA of the character.  He's like an imperfect guy.  You know what I'm mean? He is a kid, and he's always kind of making mistakes, and he is not so sure about himself all the time.  I felt like the authentic place to start that was in high school. And I think there's something about the way you feel about the world at that age that makes things much more raw, and I thought that was really fun to explore more cinematically."

On fan reaction to the film promo's thus far:

"I think initially there was a little bit of hesitation amongst the community because they didn't know what we were doing. And when the materials -- when we have gone out and showed people the materials, people have really started to warm up to us, and I think that there's been -- recently, especially since the last trailer -- there's been this real groundswell of support. And when they see Andrew and Emma, there's something that feels new and really special about it that's fun.

I can't say it's totally surprising because when we were shooting it, you could feel that we're doing something that felt real and different and new and it had its own identity and I think people are coming around to that."

On adapting the comic to film:

Webb wanted "to create something that's funny and whimsical, but also has real emotional stakes.  That's the real tricky part is to make it all feel grounded even though he is doing something, even though he's swinging through the streets and he can do things that no other human can do.  But still give him a hard time when he's relating to his aunt or his girlfriend, and all those dumb little things that we all have to deal with when you don't have that mask on.  I think reconciling those two universes was tricky, but I think that people really react to it."

On feeling the "great power comes great responsibility" in working on a big studio film:

Sure, people quote that to you a lot.  And you do feel as sense of responsibility, but I also wanted to have fun.  And create a world that was fun and lively, but still honored some of the more tragic elements of the movie, but still had whimsy and romance.  That was all really, really important to me, but, yeah, you can't help but to feel a little bit of pressure.  But if you start going down that road, it's sort of a slippery slope.

And there you have it.  Webb seems like a good guy who wants to make a good film.  I'm just not sure if he did (obviously, since I haven't seen it yet).  Out of all the big-budget summer flicks coming out this summer I have the most reservations about this one.  I hope it ends up being the biggest surprise.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN opens on July 3, 2012.

Extra Tidbit: Do you prefer high school Spidey or grown-up Spidey? I'm a grown-up Spidey guy myself. I've seen enough of the origin bullshit and would like to see Peter progress in the world rather than spin his wheels, Simpsons-style.
Source: Yahoo! Movies

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