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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
  • Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Marc Webb talk about their ‘Spider-Man’ chemistry

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  • One of the reasons ďThe Amazing Spider-ManĒ worked so well a couple of years ago was the chemistry so many viewers felt between Andrew Garfield in the lead role and Emma Stone as his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Another was due to the strong on-set relationship between them and the filmís director, Marc Webb. The three are back for ďThe Amazing Spider-Man 2,Ē and it seems that the experience they shared the first time helped make the sequel even better. The trio sat together last week at an interview session in New York.
    Q; What was the difference between working together on this film and the first one?
    Garfield: Coming back together for a second movie, you do develop a much deeper connection creatively, and I think the three of us felt that together. There was actually less talk. It wasnít necessary. It was more kind of signaling to each other: up or down, left or right, quieter or louder, whatever.
    Stone: It was more comfortable. You go to these locations and you meet these people and itís like summer camp and you become incredibly close to them, and then after having such an intimate experience, youíre ripped away when everybody goes back to their families. Itís such a strange job because youíre asked to be so vulnerable in front of and with people, and create these friendships. And itís a little bit scarring sometimes to just lose all your friends one day. With this [franchise] in many ways itís like a family. We can talk like a family, we can love like a family, we can argue like a family. So itís such a nice thing to know youíll see each other again.
    Q: Youíre two movies into this new series. How have these ďSpider-ManĒ movies set themselves apart from the series Sam Raimi made with Tobey Maguire?
    Webb: First and foremost itís different. This is the Gwen Stacy saga. Her storyline in the comic was very specific. It hadnít been rendered before, and this was the culmination of a huge part of that. It was something we intended to do from the get-go, and build up from the get-go. Thematically there are ideas and notions that emerged from that storyline that hadnít been explored before. And we have Emma and Andrew.
    Q: What proportion of the scenes between you two was written, and how much was improvised?
    Stone: Itís sort of equal parts. The writers for this movie had seen the first one and knew the dynamic and the way our banter works. So a lot was in the script.
    Garfield: We had a great script with very collaborative writers. So there was a lot that was very much set before we went in, and there was no need to add anything. But what also came with that, and the atmosphere that Marc set up, was this freedom to play and to be in the sandbox and explore and see what works and what doesnít. He gave us time to make mistakes and fail, and occasionally, out of that will come something that is unexpected and useable.
    Page 2 of 2 - Webb: Even when we were rehearsing, a lot of ideas would come out of Andrew and Emma, and they would be put into the script. So there was a work-shopping component to it, and there was improvisation, but itís not just lines. Itís also attitudes and movements, and that sense of authenticity is a really great thing to see in a movie.
    Q: Andrew, itís been said that you actually have the same emotions and humor as Peter Parker. Did you identify with the character from the beginning?
    Garfield: I felt a kinship to the character since I was a 3-year-old. I feel like the beauty of him is that he is in all of us, that he is an everyman. Heís very ordinary as Peter Parker, and heís struggling with the same things that we all struggle with, whether itís his love life, his personal individuation, trying to figure out who he is, or just having to do his laundry, having to make ends meet, money-wise. Heís definitely this working-class kid. Then thereís this extraordinary gift he has. And to me, thatís a metaphor for the extraordinary gifts that we all, individually, come into the world with. Whether thatís for acting, journalism, jewelry making, table setting, landscape designing ... whatever it is.
    Ed Symkus can be reached at esymkus@rcn.com.

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