INTERVIEW: Tobey Maguire in Wizard Magazine

The latest Wizard Magazine has an interview with Tobey Maguire. The Official site now has up the full interview. Check it out here...
Leaning back in the conference room of Maguire Entertainment on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, Tobey Maguire looks more like a student from nearby UCLA than a Hollywood heartthrob and action star.

Wearing a light brown hooded sweatshirt, pristine white T-shirt, blue jeans, a pair of brown leather slides and sporting a shaggy haircut and three-day beard, Maguire's at ease and obviously giddy about the July 2 release of the highly anticipated Spider-Man 2. That is until someone actually asks about the sequel to 2002's estimated $800 million worldwide-grossing Spider-Man. Even the mention of Spider-Man 2 or its under-tight-wraps plot forces the usually unflappable actor to fidget.

Ask about the relationship between Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane and Maguire's Peter Parker and the actor just shrugs. Bring up the rumors that MJ might get engaged to Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson's son in the sequel and he can only smile. Jump to talking about the battle scenes between Spider-Man and Alfred Molina's villainous Doc Ock and the Seabiscuit star tells you to check out the film when it arrives in theaters.

"I know [director] Sam [Raimi] really wants to surprise fans," acknowledges Maguire as he pours a cup of freshly brewed coffee. "All the scripts are personalized, and they make it so you can't copy it. Plus, there's like your name-it says 'T. MAGUIRE' in huge letters across every page, so if it gets out, they know who did it."

While the star can't say much about the story of Spider-Man 2 and measures his words carefully when describing the hush-hush action scenes, the actor does want to make one thing clear-Spider-Man 2 is even better than its predecessor.

"This movie has a better story, a better script," beams the 28-year-old actor. "To me, we have a better villain. Cinematically, I think Doc Ock's just a cooler villain. That's no knock on [Green Goblin actor] Willem [Dafoe]; I think he did a great job. I just think I like Doc Ock better. I think basically across the board this has been the better movie. I'm not one of those guys you see do these interviews, 'Oh yeah, we got a bigger, better, more explosions, blah blah blah, action, fun, this, that.' It's truly a better movie. I think the action is going to be better, the special effects are gonna look better, it's gonna be more exciting, all that stuff. But it all comes from a better story. In every aspect, every character, I think has stronger storylines, and I just think it's a more complete film than the first one was. And you can count on that. That's me saying that."

And that seems to be Maguire's quiet edict. He may not be able to say much, but he won't lie or mislead; he simply wants to see fans as excited and surprised by the film as he's been from the experience of shooting the epic adventure.

WIZARD: So how has Peter Parker changed during the two-year gap between the two films?

MAGUIRE: Let me think about that. [Pauses] This is the first of all of my countless interviews that are sure to come. Once you get in about 100 interviews you get pretty good at this stuff. I don't think that there is a huge transformation unseen between the two movies. He's definitely older and doing different things with his life. And there are certain things that he's thinking about and that are going on for him that are different, that kind of make sense as a natural evolution, going down the road of him doing what he's doing. I think what's interesting about it is [Spider-Man 2 is] about a very young man growing up and dealing with issues, but it's just exaggerated because of his circumstances. It's something that everybody goes through-dealing with the theme of responsibility and trying to balance all of his life.

WIZARD: Was working on the sequel different from working on the first film?

MAGUIRE: You know, in some ways yes, in some ways no. It's become more second nature, in terms of the character and the relationships and working with the same people. So that's similar, and yet easier. People have more experience in general, so myself included as well as the rest of the people on this, are just a nice movement, a nice, real, easy understanding of the work. So in that way, it just comes easily and it's fun.

WIZARD: What was it like to re-team with director Sam Raimi?

MAGUIRE: Sam's great. He's a funny guy. He's always like that, almost always just relaxed, easygoing, funny-keeping the atmosphere playful. But very serious in the work and he respects work, and expects you to work extremely hard. He sets a great tone and he's very open and collaborative, so I get to come to him with anything. Any concern that I feel I have.

WIZARD: Do you feel a lot of pressure to top the huge success of the first film?

MAGUIRE: I would like it to be successful. I hope people like it and enjoy it like they did the first one. It was very exciting for me to go to the theater and hear people cheering when the big cheer moments came. That was a very unique, exciting experience for me, to be a part of that. And hopefully we can recreate some of that excitement, and I hope it's successful. But I'm not really worried about it.

WIZARD: What was it like to work with Alfred Molina, who plays your rival in the film, Doc Ock?

MAGUIRE: He's just very relaxed and funny and a great actor. He's the whole package. I've been very lucky my whole career, because I've gotten to work with a lot of great people. And it's a good role for him, too. He really just tore it up. He's awesome.

WIZARD: I assume he gets to really kick your ass in the film...

MAGUIRE: I don't know. [Smiles] It is the movie, so it is possible. In real life, I don't think Fred wants to step to me. [Chuckles]

WIZARD: I know in the last film you said actor Willem Dafoe, who played the Green Goblin, left a lot of bruises on you. How did Molina measure up?

MAGUIRE: You always end up with a few nicks and scratches, but I think I took a little more abuse in the first movie. A lot of this is the tentacles; they didn't have the same kicks and punches that Willem was throwing at me.

WIZARD: How was working with the puppeteer-controlled tentacles of Doc Ock?

MAGUIRE: I think they did a great job. The things look great and the movements are great. It's just a long process. I prefer working with them live like that, because it's easier with something real to react to. But it's tough; it's tough because of the movements. He's a supervillain, so they have to create something that is amazing within the frame. It's pretty spectacular seeing some of the cut stuff together. It looks just amazing. But yeah, it's interesting. It's not what I thought I'd be doing.

WIZARD: What was the toughest part of shooting this film as opposed to the first film?

MAGUIRE: Just the time it takes. It's a long shoot, and there's a lot of sitting around because of the nature of this sort of film. It's a little tedious, because you're doing so many shots per scene. Especially when you're doing action, special effects. You go out, you do a shot that's gonna be in the movie for about a second and a half, and you wait for an hour, and you go back and do another shot that's a two-second shot. It's all these tiny pieces of the puzzle. It's very satisfying when you see it later, when they start to put it together and you go, "Oh yeah," and you get it, you understand what that shot added to that sequence and how they build it.

WIZARD: But it also must be very physical. You have a reoccurring back problem that almost made you drop out of the film, didn't you?

MAGUIRE: I was taking precautionary measures, and making everybody aware of that, after reading the script and seeing the storyboards and talking to Sam [Raimi] and everybody, with the stunts and them going like, "We're gonna really do it this time." I went, "Well, I want to make sure I can do this stuff." It's like a high degree of difficulty, a lot of stress on the body. It's a lot of hours of working, not a lot of sleep, pushing yourself physically. When it came time, I wanted to make sure that I could do it. And they said, "Yeah, we don't want to hurt you and we don't want to put our movie in jeopardy and blah blah blah, so let's make sure you can do it." And I just went through some of the stunts. I worked with the stunt guys for a couple weeks, going over the stunts and starting to get into them. And it was okay. We had better harnesses and better wire rigs, so in actuality, even though the stunts had a higher degree of difficulty, they were probably less stress on my body, just because every couple of years everything gets more advanced. So it was actually probably easier for me this time around. Plus, I had some experience.

WIZARD: How often do Spider-Man comic book fans approach you? I'd think it was all the time...

MAGUIRE: Not as often as you might think. It's interesting how there's a thing about those people and you often think they're gonna be kind of weird or something. But most of the time they're just normal, everyday people or a businessman or a lawyer, just like regular jobs out there in the world. It could be anyone. It's amazing to me how much kids love the movie. That's the thing I probably get the most, is like parents coming up to me going, "I've seen your movie 87 times because my kid watches it every single day." That's probably the craziest stuff.

WIZARD: Have you already started thinking about the third film or are you too exhausted to even consider it now?

MAGUIRE: I'd be excited to do it, assuming all the same elements are there and we had a good script. I don't think anybody would want to go into it without a really strong jumping-off point. Assuming that it's the same team, particularly Sam, then I'd be excited about it.

WIZARD: Do you have any villains you'd particularly like to see in a third film?

MAGUIRE: I really like Sandman. Some of the villains I enjoy reading in the comic books, but some of them I don't know if they translate to movies. But I think Sandman's a pretty cool villain. I have no idea what they're thinking; this is like an Avi [Arad, producer] and Sam specialty, since they both know this stuff so well. I'm trying to think of all the villains. I'd say Sandman's gotta be my favorite, along with Doc Ock. Those two are probably my favorite villains. I think that the Lizard is kind of a weird villain, cinematically. Kraven the Hunter is kind of cool, but what's his purpose in a movie? A guy who's like the big hunting guy and he's evil? If somebody did that, I just don't know how it would translate. But you know, sometimes you kind of change them for a movie. But I think Doc Ock is probably the coolest villain.

WIZARD: How do you think a brawl between your Spider-Man and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine would go? Think you could take him?

MAGUIRE: I don't know; I think Spider-Man would probably win, right? Wolverine? He's got metal or steel all over his skeleton. I'm not really scared of the claws. I kind of think Spider-Man is going to win that fight.

WIZARD: It seems like every young male actor in Hollywood's been rumored to play Superman. Any interest?

MAGUIRE: No, I have no interest in playing Superman. I would never betray my Spider-Man roots. I'm a Marvel comic book guy.
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Wizard Magazine -- Mike Cotton