TM What was the process? How did you end up being the guy?
AG It was pretty basic, apart from it being more dragged out and pressure-filled and dramatic than any other audition process I’ve ever been through. They like to put you through the ringer, in the respect that it creates drama and tension among a generation of actors.
TM Yeah, I completely understand. What kind of effect has this had on you?
AG The main thing I’m thinking about and worrying about is what happens after this movie comes out. What was your experience when you became Spider-Man in people’s eyes? I’m interested to hear what you have to say about the whole life change that it brings. Because right now I have a host of fears that I’m contending with on a minute-to-minute basis. I’m not in the reality of it yet, so I’m sure I’m imagining it will be much worse than it is. I admire you so much because you’re an actor and that’s all you’ve ever been and all you ever will be. It must be very hard to hold on to the simple fact of wanting to be an actor, to tell stories and not have your image become bigger than your art. Do you have a recollection of a definite change, or was it a seamless thing?
TM I think our thing was a little bit different because movies hadn’t been doing the sort of opening-weekend business that’s fairly common—even expected—today. The first Harry Potter came out about six months before us and it was this phenom- enon from Day one. it was so wild because it was a new thing at that moment—and i’m not saying that hasn’t happened in movie history, but at the time that was a big jump. and then that happened with us. People didn’t anticipate [2002’s Spider- Man] to be like that. Leading up to it you start to get reactions and people tell you, you know, what the tracking is and what range your opening weekend box office is likely to be. but for me it was kind of unexpected. So much shifted in my life the weekend the movie came out. it was shocking.
AG Right. I just feel such a great responsibility to the story and to the fans, because I know in my heart how much this character means to people, because it means that much to me. For the sake of all the people who care about it as much as I do—I want to bring the character to life and make sure they’re as satisfied as they can possibly be.
TM That’s very cool. A lot of what you’ve been talking about, the connectivity between you and the story and the fans, it seems like you have a great respect for the character.
AG Very much so. Peter Parker is such a positive character—he’s pure wish fulfillment, an underdog. I grew so much from him when I was a kid, from the comics all the way up to the first movie you were in. I was 19 when I saw [Spider-Man]. I got a pirated dvd at portobello Market with my friend Terry Mcguiness, and we went back to my skanky apartment in North London and we watched it twice in a row and then practiced your final line in the mirror!
AG Terry has this thick accent and every time I would recite that line he would laugh this very distinct laugh and say, “No, man, you could never be f*cking Spider-Man. You’ll never be f*cking Spider-Man!” I was so humiliated and upset. But, um…f*ck you, Terry!
The Amazing Spider-Man also stars Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field.