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Hey boys and girls, the folks behind The Amazing Spider-Man swung into town and to take over New York City in the days before the filmís July 3rd release.  We got to talk to some of the cast during the Spidey press junket, including Peter Parker himself, Andrew Garfield, the eloquent Lizard, Rhys Ifans, Oscar-winner, Sally Field, director Marc Webb, and had an exclusive chat with the hilarious Denis Leary.  We also got to watch the crew light up the Empire State Building in Spidey colours, and our Dollie Banner was on hand to capture the arachnid invasion of the American Museum of Natural History, featuring Andrew, Marc and a real spider, man.

Dig it!

 

The Amazing Spider-Man

NYC Press Conference

 

Director Marc Webb

 

The Lady Miz Diva: In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker appears to spend more time out of the costume than in it, or in the costume with his mask off.  It seems like youíre more focused on the story and teenage drama of Peter Parker.  Iím curious about your thoughts behind the balance of drama to action in a comic book movie, and if leaning toward the dramatic is going to be part of the way the series progresses after this film?

Marc Webb:  When I think about the Spider-Man comic books; Iím a huge Spider-Man fan and Iím an even bigger fan of Peter Parker.  I love this idea that thereís this kid that has the same problems that we do, and those little domestic dramas, I think, are what makes my connection with the character that much more profound.

I wanted to spend time at the beginning of the movie, in particular, developing those relationships.  I find that very stimulating.  I also feel like once you have established that connection, hopefully the action will be that much more exciting, that you care about the person behind the mask.

And going forward, weíll see.

 

Sally Field

(Aunt May)

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  Ms. Field, director Marc Webb is fairly new to feature films.  I wondered if working with a young new filmmaker was part of what brought you to The Amazing Spider-Man?

Sally Field:  Well, for me, I have one real big main reason why I did the movie, but I loved the idea of Marc.  I saw his first film {(500) Days of Summer}, which I thought was just exquisite.  I met with him and he is who he is and I had no doubt that he was going to push his envelope and it was going to be exciting.  It was going to be a new, fresh voice, cos thatís what his film was.  So, that was never an issue at all; I was very eager to do that.  And the cast Ö Wow!  And the script was very good; the script was dark and really different.  But for me, the reason that I absolutely had to do it was that my first producing partner was Laura Ziskin, and we produced Murphyís Romance together.  It was her first film and my first film that I had produced, and she was a good friend.  And she is -- was -- a spectacular hero, really, a spectacular hero.  She is Spider-Man.  She really is.  I say is because the work that she started is really continuing; the fight against cancer.  She asked me to do the movie, would I come in and do it?  I said ďAbsolutely!Ē  Before I read it, before I knew who was involved in it, before I met Marc, before I knew Marty {Martin Sheen} was there, because my instinct was she wasnít going to do another one after this, and so I would have done it, no matter what.  So, I am very proud to have been a part of her first film and her last film. And she was a hero.

 

Rhys Ifans

(Curt Connors/The Lizard)

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  Iíve heard other cast members talk about how impressed they were with Andrew Garfieldís and Emma Stoneís performances and how they felt they had to step their game up a bit.  Did you feel that way?  What did you observe working with the fresh, young talented kids on this film, which besides Andrew and Emma would include your director, Marc Webb?

Rhys Ifans:  I never once saw or considered Andrew or Emma or Marc as kids or virgins to the dubious craft of acting.  Not at all.  In fact, I was more often that not, humbled by their performances.  I think Andrew, in particular, has given Spider-Man such complexity and intelligence and beauty and poetry.  I think itís just a phenomenal performance, just on an emotional level.  When you see him and Emma fall in love for the first time; I really believe itís the first time.  When you see his rage and his sense of injustice at the world; I believe that because I felt those feelings when I was Spider-Manís age.  And thatís the enduring appeal of Spider-Man; these are all emotions that we can recognise, and that teenage place of physical and emotional flux is very real to us all.  I think Andrewís mapped it out so eloquently, itís really moving and beautiful to watch.  Physically, you just see this kind of kid whoís riddled with issues and questions and pressures and you just see how that affects him physically.  And to see him transform from that into this beautiful, mercurial, arachnid Olympiad angel that penetrates the skies of New York.  To see him leave that teenage chrysalis and become the web-making butterfly that he is at the end is quite a thing to behold.

I canít believe I got through that. {Laughs}

 

Andrew Garfield

(Peter Parker/Spider-Man)

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  Iím really impressed by your physicality in this role and itís clear you did a lot of hard work to nail some of those famous Spidey moves and poses.  Can you talk about the transformation you had to go through with your training; working with the stunt team and fight coordinators?  Was there a particular moment you enjoyed most or looked at onscreen and said, ĎI canít believe I did that.í

Andrew Garfield: {Laughs} Itís so nice to be able to look at the movie and feel ownership.  Itís a really nice thing to be able to feel that because of Andy {Armstrong - stunt coordinator}, because of Andyís trust of me and his encouragement of me.  There was something specific that I wanted to do with the physicality that wasnít just a guy in a suit, throwing kicks and punches, saying cheesy lines.  I wanted him to be a spider boy in the way that if we were grounding this film in reality, then what happens when spider DNA is running through your bloodstream?  What happens?  What happens to this teenage boy, whoís fidgety and nervous and can hardly keep still?  He discovers that he can now have patience like a spider.  There was a scene that they cut out which was awesome; they have {kept in} the thing where I throw the Chinese food container in the trash can while Iím on the computer, but I was doing something with all my limbs doing different things.  They melded two shots, which were really cool; I was moving a lamp with my left foot, I was typing with my right foot, I was eating Chinese and I was reaching for something behind me, and it didnít get in.  Maybe Iíll just cut my own movie - all the bits that I like.  So, that was really fun and there was a lot of great physical stuff that made it; like, for instance, the scene where I get all the food out of the fridge -- the kind of spatial awareness that you have in the stillness.  Peter doesnít move like that.  Peter doesnít glide like that.  Before the spider bite, he didnít.  The way heís moving around the space; heís kind of moving around the wall as opposed to walking straight through, plodding through the room.  Heís kind of like moving with his back along the wall and then he drops the thing and heís able to catch it with his elbow and itís fine; he wasnít even phased.  You know what I mean?  That kind of thing is fun to play with, but then the training is horrible.  The physical training changed my body because Iím a lazy guy.  Iím vain, but Iím not vain enough to care about the gym.  Armando Alarcon was my trainer and heís a fantastic trainer and a terrible person.  I have very confused feelings about Armando.  Wherever he is, he knows that; heís hiding from me.  He will be murdered one day.  No, but we had a great time and I was thankful for him.  He kept me on an even keel all the way through, and that, combined with all the stunt team was a pretty awesome experience.

 

Exclusive Interview:  Denis Leary

(Captain George Stacy)

 

The Lady Miz Diva:  Itís great to meet you on the occasion of this movie, but I wonder about the sequel prospects?

Denis Leary:  Hey, anythingís possible.  You never know!

 

LMD:  Did you sign some sort of deal like Marlon Brando did in Superman when he got paid for any use of his image in flashbacks or photos for the succeeding films?

DL:  Well, they were thinking even before I committed to it, that they were going to make sequels, so they do sign you up for a certain amount of time.

 

LMD:  So youíre good whether youíre on set or not?

DL:  Exactly!

 

LMD:  Whatís your history with the Spider-Man universe?

DL:  None. Saw the movies; that was about it.

 

LMD:  How did this role come to you, then?

DL:  I dunno.  Marc called me and for some reason had the idea of me as Captain Stacy and I said, ďWhat are you thinking about?Ē  And he told me about this little, tiny movie he was making basically in his mind with these actors and these characters.  So, it was hard to believe that it was gonna be an action movie, but thatís really what it was.  It was fun and it was like a really big budget character piece to us.

 

LMD:  Captain Stacy as written in the comics is an older gentleman whoís very posh and refined, but I think you brought a realism to the role and had wonderful chemistry with Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield.  The dinner scene with all of you around the table is a great example of that chemistry.  Can you talk about working with them?

DL:  Iím not discounting our work, but a lot of that was Marc and what he had in mind, and what he had the writers come up with and what he wanted us to play with.  But he was very detailed in his mind how he wanted the relationships to be, which is always a blessing when you have a director with that clear of a vision.  But he also wasnít close-minded in terms of the actors bringing whatever they brought.  Cos you know, that was like shooting an independent film scene when a familyís having dinner; or maybe one of the ones on Rescue Me where we would shoot with two or three cameras running and weíd do the lines, but weíd also improvise and weíd shoot and spend a long time playing around with it, except itís a movie thatís a $200 million movie thatís a summer blockbuster.  I havenít seen the finished movie, but based on what I was seeing in front of my eyes, I thought, ĎWell, this is pretty interesting for an action movie.í

 

LMD:  How did you get such intimacy out of that scene, when youíve got that scary budget and these huge 3D cameras everywhere?

DL:  Well, we shot for a long time.  We spent like three days in there, I think.  It was one of the first things we did.  So, I think the first day subconsciously was him trying to get us used to the size of the cameras and then used to each other and get the energy right.  But he shot the hell out of it because -- and I remember him saying -- ďI donít know how long this scene is gonna be in the movie, but itís a big, important scene, so I wanna have way more than I need to be able to play with in the editing room.Ē

 

LMD:  Did you have any hesitation about taking part in this reboot of the Spider-Man story, considering how popular the Sam Raimi films are with fans?

DL:  I didnít have any of that, because Iím more of a Batman guy.  So, if somebody had said to me, ĎYouíre going into Batman,í because Iím such a Batman freak -- and not the old TV show; Batman the Dark Knight -- that would be intimidating to me.  I have one friend whoís kind of a Captain Stacy nut, and he started to talk to me about it and I was like, ďMan, Iím not gonna listen to you, Iím just gonna listen to what Marc has in mind, cos otherwise Iím gonna be making the wrong choices.Ē  So, I just went in every day with Marc as my guide to what he needed and where I needed to be in terms of what notes I was playing.

 

LMD:  You mentioned Marc allowing you to have your take on your role.  I wondered if you were behind the line, ďDo I look like the Mayor of Tokyo to you?Ē which got the biggest laugh at my screening.

DL:  That was Marcís line.  We improvised.  It was just me and Andrew, and we played around with that scene for blockings and things and we tried a bunch of different things and Andrew tried a bunch of different things and toward the end of that day, Marc said, ďWhat about this? Try this.Ē  So we just tried it.  I donít know how he found out that that was the best line.

 

LMD:  The whole theatre cracked up.  However, thereís something in that scene that I hadnít noticed at first; thereís a tribute on the wall to the Leary Firefighters Foundation, isnít there?

DL:  Yeah, that was Marcís idea, which I loved.

 

LMD:  For our readers who may not know about the Leary Firefighters Foundation, will you tell us a little bit about it, please?

DL:  Itís a foundation I started about thirteen years ago.  My cousin, Jerry Lucey was a firefighter who died in the line of duty in my hometown of Worcester, Mass.  We started out helping the families; there were seventeen kids left behind, six firefighters who died in that particular fire.  And then, after 9/11, my good friend Terry Quinn, who was the technical advisor on Rescue Me, who was a firefighter here in New York; he helped me expand it into helping the families after 9/11.  Then weíve spent the last eight or nine years helping various departments around the country.  What we do is basically raise money to supply them with new equipment and new training facilities, which is quite often the thing they need most -- besides a pay raise -- and the thing that the city is responsible for the department is most likely to cut first in the city budget.  So basically, weíre in the business of helping firefighters, but itís really in the business of helping to save peopleís lives, because really they need the best equipment and the best training facilities in order to be prepared for the job, so thatís what we do.

 

LMD:  You have such an affinity for the firefighters, yet in this movie youíre playing a famous comic book police captain.

DL:  Iím gonna get a lot of crap from my firefighter friends.

 

LMD:  I understand thereís a film that youíre producing that may redeem you?

DL:  Yeah, I produced a movie called Burn.  Iím just the famous face on this; the credit belongs to Tom Putman and Brenna Sanchez, who were the co-directors.  Theyíre from Detroit and they directed this really wonderful piece about the Detroit fire department.  It won the audience award at Tribeca, which was a surprise, and weíre about to sign a deal for it to come out, which is great.  I donít want it to sound boring to people: Itís a really entertaining film and itís really heartbreaking and really funny and really heartwarming.  Itís everything that a big movie would be, but itís real and itís what really happened while they were making the documentary.  Itís really a terrific movie; I just happened to be the famous guy attached as the producer because the star is really the Detroit fire department and the credit goes to these two filmmakers who did such a great job with it.

 

LMD:  Besides Burn and hearing your voice in the next Ice Age movie, is there anything else coming up for you?

DL:  Thatís about it for now.  I got a couple of TV things Iím writing and producing that weíre gonna go to pilot on.

 

LMD:  Is writing and producing taking over your performing?

DL:  I hope so!

 

LMD:  Do you?  Do you love it more than acting?

DL:  I love acting and I love writing.  Itís difficult to do both at the same time, sometimes, but itís nice to be able to just show up on set looking like shit and go, ďHey, that was good. That wasnít so good.Ē  Although I loved making this movie, I have to say.  We had a blast.

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

June 9th, 2012

 

 

 

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Photos

Exclusive photos by L.M.D. and Ms. Dollie Banner

Press Stills courtesy of  Sony Pictures

 

 

 

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