Spider-Man 3 Interviews: Tobey Maguire

Superhero Hype! talked to Spider-Man himself, Tobey Maguire, about coming back for a third time and if he’s up for more Spidey films.

Superhero Hype!: What was it like coming back for the third time?

Tobey Maguire: I had a good time on the movie. (Laughs.) I love it. I love working with the cast and the crew and especially with Sam so, it was great coming back and I really felt like in this movie it was definitely the continuing story of Peter Parker and the other characters, but we were exploring new territory for the character, so it was exciting for me to venture into some different areas.

SHH!: Is it like a whole new character since you’re playing the dark side?

Maguire: It’s not a new character. It’s a new side to Peter Parker and something I think is kind of unexpected to see. It was a lot of fun and it was a lot of work for Sam and I to go over it and really thinking about and discuss the right tone for that part of the movie.

SHH!: Did you watch Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever” for the dancing sequence?

Maguire: I saw that a long time ago, but I didn’t watch it to reference him for the movie.

SHH!: This wasn’t an intentional homage to that thing?

Maguire: Not from my point of view. I mean, I recognize some of the similarities and I will say though that he was cooler. (Laughs.)

SHH!: Did you work with a choreographer or a dance instructor?

Maguire: Yeah, I worked with some people. A choreographer and some other people. A couple of dance people and the inside part was pretty much all choreographed and then the outside, the basic idea of it was choreographed, and then we kind of riffed on it and had fun from there.

SHH!: Was that the toughest thing you did on this movie? Did somebody say, “Tobey, you have no rhythm” or “You’re a great dancer” or?

Maguire: Well, first of all that was Peter Parker dancing, not Tobey. (Laughs.) And y’know, it really is a thing where Peter thinks he’s super cool and suave, and really he’s a cornball. So, we were making fun of that and having fun and our aim was for people to be laughing, so I had that in mind while I was dancing.

SHH!: Did you ever see “Superman III” which has those great moments when he turns bad?

Maguire: I haven’t seen that in a long time. I did watch “Superman”1 and 2 more recently, but I didn’t remember loving 3 so much. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, but I didn’t have any desire to go back and watch it.

SHH!: Regarding the comedic scenes that you have in this movie. We have heard about how funny you are on set.

Maguire: Extremely. So funny. (Laughs.)

SHH!: You haven’t been in a lot of comedies – was it fun to tackle that? Is there a yet-to-be made wacky comedy starring Tobey Maguire?

Maguire: I don’t know. I want to work in all kinds of movies, so I’d love to do a good comedy. And It was fun. It was a lot of fun. It was fun to do it with Sam, I think he has a great sense of humor. We had a blast doing that.

SHH!: Sam said the “bad” Spidey scenes were the hardest to shoot during the movie. He didn’t like to see him do the things he does. Did you feel the same?

Maguire: Well, I probably had the most fun doing those scenes myself. I have heard Sam say that before, I’m not quiet sure that I’ve ever believed him though. I feel like he…it’s a little bit, I think he’s attracted to it and repulsed by it at the same time. I think it’s hard for him to see Peter behave in those ways because it’s his, like, the treasured character of Peter like, straying off course. So, I do think he has a genuine reaction from that, but also I think we both get a little pleasure of seeing Peter like that.

SHH!: The actors all signed on for three movies. Now the big question is 4,5 and 6 – would you come back? Would you want to?

Maguire: Well, if there was a great story there and there was something interesting for Peter Parker to do like a storyline that I loved for Peter Parker and Sam was involved and the right cast was in place, at that point I would consider it.

SHH!: So, if Sam didn’t come back?

Maguire: No.

SHH!: Comments appeared in the news that said you wanted this to be your last one?

Maguire: I’m not sure. That’s not what I’m saying now. I think early on through one and two I always imagined this as like three and out. Y’know what I mean? Like I’d do three and that would be enough for those. I’m not saying I will do a fourth one at all. I’m saying I’m not committed either way and we’ll see what happens.

SHH!: Where do you see your career going now?

Maguire: I just hope to opportunities to make good movies with good filmmakers. I really don’t have a specific path or direction I want to go on or even the types or roles or movies that I want to do. I want to do everything with great people.

SHH!: As just an actor or a producer or?

Maguire: Yeah, all of it. Whatever.

SHH!: Any concern with being haunted by this role?

Maguire: I’m not really concerned about it. As long as I have other opportunities to make other types of movies. Certainly I’m identified with this film or with this character and I don’t think that’s going to go away anytime soon. I’m not fighting that or resisting it. As long as I get to make some other movies, I’m fine with that.

SHH!: Sam said Spidey needed to learn he was a sinner – did you appreciate those spiritual characteristics coming out in this film?

Maguire: Well I guess if you are talking about the imagery you should talk to Sam or Bill Pope, the cinematographer. For me, in my department, I wasn’t thinking of it in those terms really. There is definitely deep remorse from Peter’s part. I think he feels like he lost his way and he’s really remorseful and wants to…and feels really humbled and wants to stop behaving in that way. It’s difficult for him, it’s emotional. I think about it from the character’s perspective and not really in religious terms. It’s more about psychological and emotional terms that I’m think.

SHH!: Have you ever had to cope with some of the things Peter has had to regarding success going to your head?

Maguire: I think Peter and I react differently to that aspect of it. He’s really sort of loving it and bathing in it and getting that kind of arrogance and self importance and to me, I enjoy playing it and thought it was funny and fun to do. Personally, we just have different experiences

SHH!: You and Kirsten have a great emotional arc with this. And as a movie couple you’ve grown a lot. Did it just flow really easily this time?

Maguire: No, it flowed pretty easily for me. Just the whole movie in general. I had a good time and I felt really at ease during the whole shooting process. And working with Kirsten is great. I love what she brings to the role and to the movie. So, it was a lot of fun.

SHH!: Bryce was just here and talking about how big a help you were during her pregnancy. Being three months ahead of her, what did you find out about fatherhood?

Maguire: Thank you. Yes, it’s definitely amazing. I love being a dad and having a daughter. It’s amazing. It’s like everybody says. All the clichés are true. It’s indescribable and you just have to be there to understand it. You don’t really get it till you were there.

SHH!: In Parade you talked about your own troubled childhood. Any advice to kids today in a situation like that?

Maguire: It’s hard to say. I think each individual experience is different. I do think it’s important to – I dunno, it’s hard for me to say. I was fortunate enough to find different people along the way whether it was through movies or books or people that helped buoy me when things were a little bit down. I never wanted to be a victim or kind of wallow in the harder things. I always wanted to move forward. I was pretty ambitious. I felt like I had pretty good imagination and vision for my life and I had people telling me, “You are driving the vehicle of your life here. You are the master of your own destiny in a sense. So, do whatever you want to do.”

SHH!: Your scene with Bruce is hilarious. How much was adlibbed?

Maguire: It wasn’t really like adlibbed. There was a different tone at first to the scene. It was kind of more confrontational. And we thought it would be funny — we were kind of getting along strangely. There were some awkward moments, but I thought it would be a better tone if we were getting along better. Y’know, Sam is always coming up with gags or different jokes. So, I think everybody was throwing in some ideas here and there and it did change up a bit. And there is some adlibs in there. That was a lot of fun. And I thought Bruce was fantastic and the best appearance of the three appearances for him in these movies.

SHH!: Whose idea was it to make him French?

Maguire: I don’t know whose idea that was.

SHH!: You got to work with Stan Lee in this film, the creator. What’s your take on him? And him seeing this character created 40 years ago become a huge movie property?

Maguire: I’m not sure what his perception is or what his experience is as that, as I’m not him and don’t embody him, but I think what he’s done is pretty amazing to me. He created all these characters that are — not just Spider-Man, but lots of characters that are this big, iconic character that are really present in Hollywood movies now. It’s pretty interesting and he’s an icon himself like his characters.

SHH!: If you didn’t do this anymore would you miss the character and would it bother you to have another actor take over the role?

Maguire: Well, I would definitely – I love working with all the people, like Sam, the cast and all that. So, I would hope to work with them whether it was this or not. I’m sure at some point I’ll have reminiscent, sentimental kind of feelings about my experiences on the film. I already do. I’ve had great times. But, there is no pain involved in that. It’s just kind of like, nice. In terms of another actor playing the part, I don’t take any issue with that.

SHH!: This is such a thrilling character for people. What is something you do in real life that is thrilling?

Maguire: I dunno. I like to be very active, so I do all kinds of stuff. I can’t say there is anything that quite compares to swinging around like Spider-Man does. I like to ride bikes and run and scuba dive and do different kind of sports. I like to play basketball. Kind of normal human beings stuff.

SHH!: Not one particular adventure sports you gravitate towards?

Maguire: I will do anything pretty much. I’ve never been like skydiving or bungee jumping. And I don’t really see the point for myself in bungee jumping, but I would consider skydiving, but now my fiancée is like “You are not skydiving.” And it would be a shame if something happened and I missed my daughter’s life. That would be a drag.

SHH!: Mark Wahlberg says he wouldn’t do “Boogie Nights” now that he has children. Will having a daughter affect your choices?

Maguire: It may, I really don’t know right now. I think that the greatest effect it will have is on what the locations of movies are more so than what the content is. Although it may affect my decision about the content as well. I dunno.

SHH!: You did a very good ugly American in “Good German.” Is that the sort of thing you’d like to do more in the immediate future? The flip side of Peter Parker?

Maguire: Not necessarily. I enjoyed doing that movie. Kind of like I said before, I don’t have any character in mind or types of characters or types of films. I just want to do everything with people I respect and people I want to work with.

SHH!: Do you know what you are doing next?

Maguire: No.

SHH!: Comparing Spidey to other big movies – do you look at them just in the context of being movies?

Maguire: Yeah, sure, I understand it and will do that a bit. Not a lot, but yeah sure. What do you want from me? (Laughs.)

SHH!: I was crying and I was thinking, take that “fill-in-the-blank” movie, and wondering if you can have that pride or be that mean?

Maguire: First of all, I’m glad you had that experience and thank you, but for me. I think there is a bunch of them. I really liked “Batman Begins.” I really liked “The Matrix” a lot. The first two original “Superman” movies were great. Tim Burton’s “Batman” was great. There are a lot of really good ones out there and we are just trying to make the best films we can and hopefully live in that — be peers to those other great ones.

SHH!: How is this journey over six years now. Do you think it has changed you personally in a way?

Maguire: I’m sure I’ve changed a lot over the past six years. I’m not quite sure how to separate how I’ve changed based on the movies over the past six years versus just growing up over the past six years. So, it’s hard for me to answer without manufacturing something.

SHH!: Someone said you were a perfectionist. Was that always the case?

Maguire: I’ve always been like that. Since before I can remember.

SHH!: Certain actors can do movies that will have the same type of character. Can you see yourself doing another sort of graphic novel or comic book genre? Like Zack is doing the “Watchmen” next. Could you see yourself doing something like that or are you done with the comic book genre?

Maguire: The funniest part about that whole thing is that you just said, “Zack is doing the ‘Watchmen’ next,” like I’m supposed to know what all that means. (Laughs.) Who is Zack?

SHH!: Zack Snyder.

Maguire: Oh, OK. The director of who did “300.” Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be playing another iconic super hero from a comic book. I mean I think that would be kind of odd and I would guess that it would be kind of odd for audiences to accept me in that way. But, sure what was that thing with Viggo Mortensen? That was from a graphic novel wasn’t it?

SHH!: “A History of Violence”.

Maguire: “A History of Violence.” Yeah, there are a lot of things that take on a different tone. Like I said, I wouldn’t go and be in another film where I was an iconic superhero. I mean it would be weird, I don’t think it would work.

SHH!: The fight with Harry Osborn where you fought the whole time as Peter Parker. Was that a lot more complicated than doing the costume fights?

Maguire: Well, they are all kind of similar. I definitely am doing a lot more of that than some of the other stuff. But they are really long involved processes. I would guess – y’know, it’s similar, but a little more work for me basically.

SHH!: Where did your input on “Spider-Man 3″ come in? Was it early on? Or after they figured the story out?

Maguire: Well, Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi, I think, came up with the basic idea for the movie. And it was kicked around a while before I got involved. But, I was involved fairly early on in terms of the screenplay. But Sam was very open to me contributing all of my ideas both from the story stand point, tonally, content of scenes, everything. He was very open. He’d listen and I think use things when it was good and dismiss it when it wasn’t.

SHH!: What has been your weirdest encounter with a “Spider-Man” fan?

Maguire: Yeah, I guess I’ve had some strange experiences. I can’t think of anything. I think I just try to block them out after they happen. I don’t remember them. I did have an interview the other day where a guy was wearing Spider-Man tights.

SHH!: Was it in Tokyo?

Maguire: It was a bit, wait was it in Tokyo or was it here? I don’t remember. (Laughs.) No, it was part of his bit. He was proud of his Spidey pants. (Laughs)

SHH!: Can you go anywhere without being recognized?

Maguire: Can I go anywhere without? Sure.

SHH!: Can you go to a mall or anywhere without anyone calling you Peter or Spidey or Tobey?

Maguire: If I went to a mall, I would be definitely recognized. If I went to an empty restaurant. Sat in a certain way, I might not be recognized. Kind of what you’d probably imagine.

SHH!: Have you ever been to a party in your suit? (Laughs)

Maguire: I actually, don’t’ have a suit. I have had many offers to show up for kids’ parties. (Laughs.)

SHH!: Kids really think you are Peter Parker. How do you respond to kids when they see you and think Peter or Spider-Man?

Maguire: First of all I love kids and it’s a lot of fun interacting with kids, but it’s a little confusing sometimes because I want to take the lead from parents. Because sometimes parents will want to explain that, you know, I’m an actor and sort of the reality of the situation and other parents like to keep the illusion alive. So, that’s always a tricky spot, the younger they are especially. And I did have a thing were at the time I thought the right thing to do was to explain. A kid asks me and I’m honest about it. They said, “Well, how do you do that?’ Well we take the building, the vertical building and we turn it on it’s back and I’m crawling across it and the kid just was like really bummed out. (Laughs.) I was just like shattering his whole thing and then I had to work to get back in there. But we ended up hugging and he telling me he was going to miss me and it was really sweet – it ended up being a really sweet thing, but for a while I felt really bad about it.

SHH!: Do you have a favorite of all three Spider-Man films?

Maguire: Right now, I feel like this one is my favorite. I’m excited about it. It’s fresh. There are so many great things. It’s funnier, it explores new territory. It’s probably the most distinctly different of the three films. I thought 2 was a really good movie. The story came together very well. In the first one I loved the excitement of it and the origin story. So, right now, I would probably say this one is my favorite.

SHH!: You’re in the middle of a world-wind publicity tour. How much of a blur is the current process to you?

Maguire: Well, I’m very present. So, I’m present when I’m in a room, but it’s very hard for me to remember how it all worked out.

SHH!: Which continent are you on?

Maguire: Exactly. Yeah, well, it is hard if I did 100 interviews in Tokyo and I’m going to do 100 to 150 here, it’s hard to remember exactly who I talked to in which place. It’s not like Tokyo is a three-day stop where I’m just pounding away.

SHH!: With the global opening of movies like this, does that make your promo duties much shorter than you were on the first two perhaps?

Maguire: Well, I’ve been promoting the film since, not as concentrated, not as much energy into it, since last year, late last year sometime. It’s just constant promotion.

SHH!: How long will you go?

Maguire: Well when the film is released the big sweep will be done. There will probably be some follow up stuff for a week or two afterwards. And then they will give me a ring a month or two before the DVD comes out.

SHH!: I don’t think I’ve ever heard you answer this question before: how do you feel about spiders?

Maguire: I’m fine with spiders. I respect their place in the world. I don’t kill spiders. If there is a spider in my house. A lot of times I would just let spiders – I saw a huge spider in my house last night and just left it there. But, now again Jen, my fiancée, said I needed to get it outside because of the baby. So, you know, I’ve got to escort the spiders outside now.

Spider-Man 3 opens in conventional theaters and IMAX on May 4.

Source: Heather Newgen