Andrew Garfield, the new man in the Spider-Man suit, talked a lot at Comic-Con recently about how much the web-slinger meant to him growing up. It’s clear that the guy takes every last detail about his new superhero alter ego seriously. But who knew that that included some of the, ahem, smallest details, too?
When EW recently sat down and spoke with Garfield, we couldn’t help but probe for a few more tidbits about his new Spidey suit and its sleeker, more high-tech design. And while Garfield readily admitted that it felt “fantastic” the first time he put on the red-and-blue spandex, we wanted to know more. Namely, if he and director Marc Webb gave a lot of thought to the south-of-the-equator regions.
“Of course you do!” he said, blushing.
When asked if there were long conversations about whether to err on the side of being too Ken-doll androgynous vs. too bulbously revealing (especially since the film is in 3-D!), Garfield laughed and blushed some more.
“Um, yeah, there are long discussions about this stuff,” he said. “There has to be because it’s got to be handled with sensitivity. It has to be non-offensive, which takes some tools.” His words, not mine. We assume he’s talking about tools of the costume-design variety.
Ever since the nippled Batsuit brouhaha of the ’90s, the makers of superhero movies have to be careful not to offend audience’s delicate sensibilities when it comes to their crimefighter’s naughty bits. They should be more focused on Thor’s hammer than… Thor’s hammer. Garfield says he and Webb were cautious about this. “I don’t think it should be the main attraction of the costume.” he said. “I don’t think it should be what people are focusing on.” In other words, keep it classy.
With the groin issue settled, Garfield added that one of his biggest challenges in donning the Spidey suit was figuring out how the character should move in it. For that, he says he studied tapes of Muhammad Ali and soccer great Ronaldo, and he pored over the 2008 documentary Man on Wire — the non-fiction account of tight-rope walker/daredevil Philippe Petit, who snuck up to the top of New York’s World Trade Center in 1974 and crossed on a rope from one building to the other. “Man on Wire was something I wanted to capture in playing Spider-Man,” he said. “The feeling that it gave me of this human being giving something so spectacular and hopeful and magical to a mass of people for nothing other than generosity.”
Asked how he sees his Spidey as different from predecessor Tobey Maguire’s, Garfield diplomatically answered: “Tobey did an amazing job. This isn’t a replacement. I want to be clear about that. It’s another chapter. That’s not what I’ve been trained to say, that’s what I feel. I’ve spoken to Tobey and we’ve seen each other and hung out.”
So what advice to the elder Spidey give to the new kid on the block? “He said just enjoy yourself. Don’t let the burden weigh too heavy and make sure you have some fun.”
Clean, wholesome fun at that.