Before Tom Holland won over audiences and critics alike with his portrayal of Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, Andrew Garfield was headlining the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, an experience which he says left him “heartbroken.”
Speaking with Amy Adams for one of Variety‘s annual “Actors on Actors” interviews (courtesy of Comic Book Movies), Garfield acknowledges he wasn’t quite prepared for the complications that come from working on a major tentpole release, especially one that is part of a larger franchise.
“There were great things about it, I got to work with incredible actors, a really great director… I learned a lot about what feels good and what doesn’t feel good, and what to say ‘yes’ to. There’s something about being that young in that kind of machinery which I think is really dangerous.
“I was still young enough to struggle with the value system, I suppose, of corporate America. Really, it’s a corporate enterprise mostly.”
Garfield is certainly correct, as Sony had originally planned to use The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a springboard into two additional sequels and a pair of spin-off films about Venom and the Sinister Six.
But when the film failed to connect with critics or audiences, those plans were scrapped, and Garfield blames the studio for being too focused on their larger plans to craft a satisfying standalone narrative.
“There’s something that happened with that experience for me where story and character were actually not top of the priority list, ultimately. And I found that really, really tricky.
“I signed up to serve the story and to serve this incredible character that I’ve been dressing as since I was three, and then it gets compromised and it breaks my heart. I got heartbroken a little bit, to a certain degree.”
Luckily, the dissolution of the Amazing Spider-Man series hasn’t prevented Garfield from remaining active. He received tremendous critical acclaim for his portrayal of World War II veteran Desmond Doss in last month’s Hacksaw Ridge, and can next be seen in Martin Scorcese’s Silence, set to open in theaters Dec. 23.
Both performances are expected to bring plenty of attention to Garfield as award season conversations get underway, but the actor isn’t resting on laurels. His latest project, Breathe, is in post-production, and he’s currently shooting the crime noir thriller Under the Silver Lake.
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