Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2


Tobey Maguire/Spider-Man 2 Interview by Paul Fischer in Los Angeles.

Tobey Maguire is not one from shying away from how he feels about the media.Casually attired in jeans and t-shirt, Maguire is surrounded by a mediakeen, in part, to discuss the much-publicised problems with Spider-Man 2.Consistently shy and awkward in front of the press, Maguire jokingly saysthat "talking to the media" is one of the frustrations he associates withthe Spider-Man franchise, that managed to turn his world upside down, adding"I get overwhelmed and have all kinds of regular feelings about stuff, butif I get perspective on it, my problems are basically quality problems." Yetthere is no doubt that for Maguire, who was already gaining success throughsmaller films such as The Ice Storm and Cider House Rules, nothing couldprepare him for the frenzy that was initiated following the release ofSpider-Man two years ago, though the actor admits to being slightly morecomfortable these days with his new-found celebrity status. "I guess maybeI'm slightly more comfortable with it, but not much, as it just is what itis. I experienced some celebrity prior to Spider-Man, but after its release,I was jarred by it for literally two days. It was a little shocking, like'Oh my gosh, there are four or five cars following me around.' There havebeen a few moments like that, where it was a little jarring to me. Now Ipretty much just try not to pay attention to it. I don't particularly loveall that side of it, but it just is what it is," Maguire says, somewhatphilosophically.

Given the actor's profile, there was more attention paid to the actor'sinvolvement with Spider-Man 2. Continual back problems resulted in rumoursof him being fired from the film, coupled with stories of outrageous salarydemands and negotiations. Regarding his back problems Maguire was determinedto set the record straight from his perspective. "First of all, this is aback condition I've had for three or four years, on and off. Sometimes itdoesn't really bother me at all, while sometimes it bothers me a little or alot. Coming off of Seabiscuit it was bugging me a lot, but not because ofSeabiscuit. I saw the animatics and storyboards of the stunts I was to do onSpider-Man 2 and was a little concerned about it. I felt it was myresponsibility to disclose my back discomfort to the studio, to theinsurance company and to the filmmakers, which I did. They wereunderstandably concerned and any of their actions that resulted in thatreport did not offend me or bother me in any way. I understood that theyhave a multi multi-million dollar investment that they had a start date forand an entire crew hired for, and everything was rushing towards a date fiveweeks away, to start this picture. We were all concerned about it. Then Iwent in with the stunt guys and worked on a few of the stunts to see how Iwas going to do. After I reported the stuff to them and told them about mycondition my back started getting better. I told them about it and withinabout a week my back got better than it had been in three years, so it wasmuch ado about nothing at that point. I did the film and it didn't bother methroughout the whole filming. As a matter of fact it was easier thanSeabiscuit and easier than Spider-Man 1, because having had the experienceof doing it before made it easier for me and the harnesses that I wore werebetter and the wire rigs were easier for me, for some reason."

Maguire vehemently denies that the re-negotiations for his Spider-Man 2contract had anything to do with him being fired from the film. "We wererenegotiating, but that was settled before any of the back stuff came up. Sowe were done with that at that point as far as I remember. Maybe some of thefiner points of the deal were still being worked out, but the big issueswere done. You know, the negotiations were fine. They were negotiations. Iwas asking for this and they wanted to give me that, and then we finally metsomewhere."

Maguire says he didn't have any trepidation, pressure or concerns followingthe huge success that was Spider-Man, with its sequel. "It was a pleasurefor me to do the sequel. None of my feelings had to do with the success ofthe first movie, in terms of making the second one. What it has to do withis that I really love working with Sam Raimi who is a lot of fun and a funnyguy. Also, he's very collaborative and open to me contributing my ideas,which I love and makes me feel like a greater part of the filmmakingprocess," Maguire says. Asked how he might have changed between films,Maguire merely says that "I'm not sure how I've changed. I'm a few yearsolder and I think I've changed a little bit, as one would, but I haven'treally thought about it." On the other hand, his on-screen alter ego PeterParker has changed and, the actor says, "Is just in a different place in hislife. I think being Spider-Man is wearing on him, not having a life of hisown. I always thought it was peculiar to me how this kid couldn't see how hecould just have a little balance in his life and things would be a littlebetter for him. But there are complications to that, which I understand. Hedoesn't want to put his loved ones in danger and just being honest withpeople, at first causes him pain. He wants a life of his own, wants to havesome kind of balance in his life, but also has these gifts and wants to usethem responsibly." You would think, in some way, Maguire would be able toidentify with Peter, but not so, says the actor. "It's a bit of a stretch.I get really busy and can feel somewhat overwhelmed at times, but my life isnot at all like his. I have friends and family that I'm close to, and I'm anactor," he adds laughingly.

While Maguire's co-star Kirsten Dunst has emphatically stated that she won'tdo a fourth Spider-Man, Maguire is a tad more circumspect on the subject."I don't know that I would make a statement like that, but I don'tanticipate doing a fourth movie. I think that three is probably enough forme, but you never know. If they sent me a script that was better than anyother script I've ever read and offered me a piece of Sony Corporation,maybe I'd change my mind", Maguire says laughingly." Never say never, youknow? Sony is a big company."

Maguire is now in a position to be choosy in what he takes on in the movieworld, saying that he is not really sure what kinds of roles he really wantsthese days. "There are so many things I enjoy watching, in terms of moviesand different kinds of movies. I love scary movies and really lovethrillers. I like a Marathon Man kind of movie and The Shining. I like thosekinds of films. I like romantic comedies, but I like the best ofeverything."



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