A lot of ink (the digital variety) has been spilled about the inadequacies of the Amazing Spider-Man twology that failed to capture imaginations and failed to launch a vast Spider-Man universe for Sony Pictures. What went wrong? Was it the fault of the films’ star Andrew Garfield? Well, from the sounds of it, Garfield certainly seems to be taking on the lion’s share of blame, wrong or not, for how the Amazing Spider-Man films went wrong, and in a new interview he got rather brutally honest about his legacy as Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. In four words: “I Was Never Spider-Man.”
In an interview with Zakis Corner, Garfield was asked what he learned from “being Spider-Man,” and then things got pretty serious.
“Well, nothing, because I was never Spider-Man. Because Spider-Man’s a fictional character. He’s not real. [laughs] You know what’s funny, to give you the vulnerable answer, I thought I was going to be Spider-Man, you know? I went into it going…ego s**t came in. It’s like, “Okay, here it is. I’m f***ing Spider-Man. I f***ing made it.” All that s**t. [laughs] I didn’t actually make it. I was never Spider-Man.
“I was the actor that I am. The person that I am. Struggling with trying to match up with something that I’d elevated so high in my mind. Elevated beyond what I could attain, what I could achieve. The great thing is, that’s what Peter Parker was doing as well. Peter Parker created this symbol that he couldn’t live up to. It was never enough. He never felt enough, and I never felt enough.”
Wow, that’s deep. But he didn’t stop there…
“I never felt like I was able to do enough. And I couldn’t rescue those films…even though I didn’t sleep. [laughs]
“And I wanted to…not to say that I needed to rescue those films, but I couldn’t make them as deep and soulful and…life-giving as I could ever dream. And I’m never gonna be able to do that, with any film. It was especially difficult in that situation because…well, just because.”
Not even George Clooney has beat himself up that bad for Batman & Robin. Seriously, the Sony doctor should write Garfield a prescription for anti-depressants before he starts cutting himself.
Truthfully, Garfield’s disappointment in himself and the franchise is palpable, and fans might remember his impassioned speech at Comic Con before the release of the first Amazing Spider-Man movie where he talked about his love for Spidey and his hopes that fans would give him a chance. Looking at the finished films, it’s hard to see Garfield as the problem, or at least as big a problem as all the other things that went so horribly wrong with the franchise. If Garfield had merely picked up where Toby Maguire left off James Bond-style, perhaps things would have different, but Sony had a vision, and for better or worse, Garfield became the face of that vision.
Either way, Tom Holland is now Spider-Man, and his first appearance in the part will be in next summer’s Captain America: Civil War.