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Playing Spider-Man Kinda Broke Andrew Garfield’s Heart

Andrew Garfield was a little bit “heartbroken” after playing Spider-Man—and not because his time in the webslinger suit was cut short.

In Variety‘s “Actors on Actors” interview with Amy Adams, Garfield recalled how he struggled to come to terms with his place in a big-budget studio film like The Amazing Spider-Man.

“There’s something about being that young in that kind of machinery which I think is really dangerous,” Garfield said of his starring turn as Spidey in 2012. “I was still young enough to struggle with the value system, I suppose, of corporate America.”

That being said, getting the chance to play Spider-Man, a beloved Marvel character and his personal favourite childhood hero, on the big screen was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Garfield. While he has no regrets about the demanding experience, it did teach him an important, albeit heartbreaking, lesson in filmmaking: When it comes to Hollywood, story and character are not always “top of the priority list.”

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“I found that really, really tricky,” he told Adams, who’s no stranger to the superhero world herself, playing Lois Lane in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe. “I signed up to serve the story and to serve this incredible character I’d been dressing as since I was three—and then it gets compromised, and it breaks my heart. I got heartbroken a little bit.”

Alas, Garfield’s turn as Spider-Man was cut short after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to win over critics and audiences. Tom Holland is now playing a teenage Peter Parker in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. But there’s no bad blood between Spider-Men. In fact, Garfield has nothing but admiration for the “fantastic young actor” who’s currently donning the Spidey suit.

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