Why Was ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ a Tragic Journey for Andrew Garfield?
Art and Experience:
Nothing hits quite like a childhood dream being crushed by Hollywood.
Everyone wants to be a superhero. It’s a childhood dream to become a beacon of selflessness in a world corrupted by negativity. Very few people get to don the iconic masks and costumes of their favorite heroes, and those who do are in for a dizzying experience.
As the star of The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield brought the chipper, wall-crawling hero to life, battling villains like the Lizard and Electro while keeping the flame of romance burning with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).
Garfield’s childhood dream was reality, but, as he quickly realized, reality showed that he was merely a character in a movie.
In an interview with The Guardian, Garfield got personal about the heartbreaking experience of portraying the web-slinger, saying, “I got my heart broken a little bit. I went from being a naive boy to growing up… How could I ever imagine that it was going to be a pure experience?”
He went on to say, “There are millions of dollars at stake, and that’s what guides the ship. It was a big awakening, and it hurt.”
Before landing the role of Spider-Man, Garfield was mostly an indie character actor, starring in films like I’m Here and The Social Network. The immediate launch into Hollywood stardom that comes with being introduced into the MCU, especially in the early 2010s, came with its fair share of hardships.
Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ CREDIT: Verve Times
Garfield wanted to create a Spider-Man that reminded him of the character he grew up loving, the same one that women and men who attended Comic-Con in San Diego loved. Unfortunately, the Hollywood film industry had different ideas.
“[When] you add in market forces and test groups and suddenly the focus is less on the soul of it and more on ensuring we make as much money as possible. And I found that—find that—heartbreaking in all matters of the culture. Money is the thing that has corrupted all of us and led to the terrible ecological collapse that we are all about to die under.”
Then, he added, “I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding,” to cool the tension of his truth being out in the world. “I mean, it’ll take a bunch of years before that happens.”
As the Hollywood factory filmmaking machine keeps pumping out films with the intent of being the next big blockbuster, creativity is pushed to the background in favor of pleasing audiences and stuffing wallets.
Although Garfield’s journey as Spider-Man was short-lived, he transitioned from the realm of mainstream movies to dramas like The Eyes of Tammy Faye and is set to star as Rent playwright Jonathan Larson in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, Tick, Tick… Boom!
The Spider-Man torch has since been passed to Tom Holland, but rumors of former Spider-Man actors making a return in Spider-Man: No Way Home may see Garfield return to his former childhood dream.