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April 2007
SPIDER-MAN 3: An Interview with Tobey Maguire

SPIDER-MAN 3: An Interview with Tobey Maguire
By Chris Tongue

Once again Tobey Maguire dons on the red suit to play the webcrawler Peter Parker/ Spider-man in “Spider-Man 3”. It’s been six years since he first started playing the role and it never seems like he gets tired of playing the character. With scrutiny surrounding whether or not he wants to play the character, Maguire is more than happy to share his beliefs. In speaking about the film at a recent press conference in LA to promote the film, Maguire talks about his experiences in being part of this franchise and shooting the third film.

So what was it like coming back for a third time? The third time being the man behind the spider (Laughter)?

Tobey Maguire: The man behind the spider. I'm not quite sure what that means, but I had a good time on the movie. I love it. I love working with the cast and the crew and especially with Sam [Raimi]. 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 also exploring new territory for the character. So it was exciting for me to venture into some different areas.

Was it a whole new character playing the dark side to Peter Parker?

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

Did you watch [John] Travolta 'Saturday Night Fever?'

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

So it wasn't like an intentional homage to that?

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

Did you have to 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 that and had fun from there.

Was it the toughest thing you had to learn for the movie or was there a lot more challenging things? Did someone tell you, 'Tobey you have no rhythm' or anything like that? How was it?

Maguire: Well, first of all, that was Peter Parker dancing (Laughs), not Tobey. It really is like a thing where Peter thinks that 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 to have people laughing. So I had that in mind while I was dancing.

Did you ever look at that great moment in 'Superman III' where he has that sort of moment as well, where he also turns bad?

Maguire: I haven't seen that one in a long time. I did watch 'Superman' one and two more recently, but I didn't really remember loving three so much. I'm not saying that I didn't like it, but I didn't have any desire to go back and watch it.

With some of the comedic scenes that you have on this movie, and then, we've heard about how funny you are on set…

Maguire: Extremely funny. I'm so funny.

We haven't seen you in a lot of comedies onscreen. Do you want to tackle one of those eventually?

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

Sam said that the bad Spidey scenes were the hardest in the movie and I'm wondering if you feel the same way? He said it was because he doesn't like to see the character doing the things that he does when he goes bad.

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

Now that you've done the three movies and knowing that Sony is going to probably make four, five and six, the big question is will you come back for Spider-Man 4?

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

So if Sam didn't come back you wouldn't consider coming back?

Maguire: No.

The comments that appeared in the news where you said that you couldn't see yourself doing a part four.

Maguire: I'm not sure.

That's not what you're saying now then?

Maguire: That's not what I'm saying now. I think that early on through one and two I thought or always imagined that it was going to be three and out. I would do three films and that would be enough of those, and I'm not saying that I will do a fourth one at all. I'm saying that I'm not really committed either way and we'll see what happens.

Where do you see your career going from here now that you're known worldwide? You're in a position now that you never were before.

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

Just as an actor or as a producer or what?

Maguire: Yeah, all of it, whatever.

Do you ever get concerned that you'll only be seen as Spider-Man now?

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

Sam talked about your character development using a lot of spiritual terms. That Spidey needed to learn that he was a sinner and that he needed to deal with redemption and forgiveness. Did you see those characteristics in the film, and I also think some spiritual images in 'Spidey 2' with the runaway train and the crucifix pose and then in this where you have to go to the steeple to tear off the bad self. It almost looked like you were kneeling in prayer. Was that part of the character's development?

Maguire: Well, I guess if you're talking about the imagery you should talk to Sam and Bill Pope, the director and cinematographer. For me, from my department, I wasn't thinking about it in those terms really although there is definitely deep remorse, I think, on Peter's part. I think that he feels like he lost his way and he's really remorseful and feels really humbled and wants to stop behaving in that way and it's difficult for him and 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 thinking.

The look on your face when you say, 'I forgive you' at the end seemed like a process of letting go of that part of Spidey. Were you looking forward to that part as well?

Maguire: Looking forward to it as in looking forward to shooting the scene?

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