Replacing Tobey Maguire in the Spider-Man series, Andrew Garfield has a lot to prove. He created an impact with his Eduardo Saverin in the 2010 hit, The Social Network, and picked up the Hollywood Film Award for Best Ensemble of the Year and London Film Critics Circle Award for Best British Supporting Actor. That said, will the 28-year-old be able to pull off the role of one of the world’s favourite superheroes?
Garfield tells us about his early years as a gymnast and why his eyebrows are hard to ignore:
Growing up, did you want to be an actor?
When I was six, I thought I wanted to be a musician, like a singer/songwriter. But in reality, the experience of getting into music was just the opposite. My parents signed me up for classical guitar lessons, which made for two years of the most depressing Wednesday evenings... I was also into gymnastics when I was younger... I have to say though, the first time I ever did a backflip was one of the greatest moments. I felt superhuman for a second. I tried to carry on to achieve that again, but it takes a lot of work to feel superhuman.
What made you want to start acting?
Acting came from me being depressed. I was a gymnast and swimmer until 13. Then I gave up sports and started navel-gazing. I needed something to keep me afloat, so my parents suggested acting classes. It took them and a very encouraging teacher who suggested I could make a career out of it. As soon as that happened, I felt some kind of purpose.
In an article you said that you don’t Google yourself. Why is that?
There would be a lot of really nice people saying a lot of nice things. But then I would get to the one person who would say ‘His eyebrows look big. He ought to shave his eyebrows. He looks like a Neanderthal’. I thought, ‘That’s so mean. I can’t help my eyebrows, dude’.
Were you a fan of Spider-Man growing up? Did you dress up in the costume?
Yes. On Halloween. Bedtimes. Tuesdays. When I was auditioning, my parents sent me a photo of me as a kid in the Spider-Man costume. I gave it to my agent, and my agent slipped it to the studio as they were making their decision.
How did you react when you found out you landed the role of Spider-Man?
When I found out about being cast as Spider-Man, it was like this bubble developed around me. And then, suddenly, it evaporated, and I was like ‘Well, I’m just an actor. I don’t get to actually be Spider-Man’.