MTV: It’s interesting you bring up "Doctor Parnassus." You shot that with Heath Ledger right after he filmed "The Dark Knight." Did the two of you ever talk about his experience bringing an iconic comic book character to the screen?
GARFIELD: We never really talked about that. The movie wasn’t out, but I knew how excited he was. I was talking to his friends about it, who had been involved in the process, and they were so jazzed about how people were going to react to him. 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.
MTV: I would imagine at this point everyone is giving you advice, mostly unsolicited, about the best way to bring Spider-Man to life. Is there one piece of advice that really sticks out for you as being spot-on?
GARFIELD: 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.
You can read the full interview here.