Andrew and Emma Talk The Amazing Spider-Man 2
By: Lynn Barker
In “Amazing Spidey” one, cute and nerdy Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and super smart Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) met, fell in love and began a complicated relationship. Ditto for Emma and Andrew who come back to their characters in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
This time both graduate from high school and are on the brink of some huge life changes. Can they remain a couple while Peter discovers more about why his dad abandoned him and deals with new, powerful enemies? Did the couple come up with much of their fun and “real” dialogue or was it all in the script? Let’s find out.
Kidzworld: Andrew, people have said you ARE Peter Parker; some of the same emotions, humor etc. Is that why you identify with the character?
- Andrew: Well, I’ve felt a kinship to the character since I was a three-year-old. That is sweet of them to say. I feel like the beauty of Peter is that he is all of us in the sense that he is very ordinary and he’s struggling with the same things we all struggle with whether it’s his love life his personal individuality, trying to figure out who he is; the soul quest or having to do his laundry and make ends meet money-wise. He’s definitely this working class kid.
- Then there is this extraordinary thing he has, his gift. To me, (his Spider-Man abilities are) a metaphor for the extraordinary gifts that we all come into the world with individually, whether that’s for acting, journalism, jewelry-making, landscape designing whatever it is.
Kidzworld: Emma, what was it like to take Gwen another step? She grows as a scientist and strong woman.
- Emma: It was wonderful. I only have superlatives for it. It was really fantastic and I love the character of Gwen so much. It was so nice to modernize the character from the comic books and bring her to the woman that she is in this movie. My aunt is a really brilliant scientist so I got to know that aspect of my family a little bit more. It was really an honor to play Gwen. She’s such an iconic character in comic book history. There are so many great facets of her.
Kidzworld: What kind of science does your aunt do?
- Emma: She works on vaccines; the Gardiacil vaccine. She brought the chicken pox vaccine from Germany to America and she’s working on another vaccine now. She’s pretty bad ass.
Kidzworld: That is so awesome! There is some great dialogue between you and Andrew here. How much of that was written and how much did you make up?
- Emma: Sort of equal parts. The writers saw the first Amazing Spider-Man so they knew the way our banter works so a lot was in the script. We’d rehearse it and a lot of those ideas would be put into the script. (NOTE: Director Marc Webb says Emma’s fun line while she and Peter are hiding in a closet “Sorry I didn’t take you to the Bahamas of hiding places” was pure Emma).
- Andrew: It’s a mix of both. We had a great script and great collaborative writers so there was a lot that was very set before we went and no need to add anything but with the atmosphere that (director) Marc (Webb) sets up, there is this freedom to play and be in the sandbox and explore and see what works and what doesn’t. He gives us time to make mistakes and fail and occasionally, out of that, will come something that is unexpected and useable.
Kidzworld: We see Spidey interact more directly with people on the street a bit in this film.
- Andrew: Yeah. Those little moments are, I think, really Spider-Man interacting with the sad souls on the Earth (in NYC) like all of us. I think that is what sets him apart from other superheroes is he does have to save the city but, in the process, he’s going to walk a kid home, help an old lady across the street or save a cat in a tree. He’s a working class hero which is what we all wish to be in some secret part of ourselves.
Kidzworld: Was it easier for you two coming back for a second movie after getting used to the characters in the first?
- Andrew: I think coming back for a second movie, you do develop a much deeper connection creatively. I think the three of us (with the director) felt that. There was less talk actually. It wasn’t necessary. It was more signaling to each other. But myself, I’m never satisfied (Emma laughs). I never want to leave a scene. I never want it to end because I know there is more to explore forever. It’s very, very hard letting any kind of scene and have it “put in the can” as it were.
Kidzworld: The break-up scene in Chinatown was great.
- Emma: That was my first day back at work. That was a good example of needing to trust (the director) because there was a very emotional version of Gwen, a very upset version of Gwen breaking up with him that we shot a couple times and where he wanted a very solid, confident version and I’m very happy that is what is in the movie. You can feel her “self-knowing” in the way she breaks up with him instead of it being this messy crying break-up. It’s a solid, clear one.
Kidzworld: So how does having that continuity that comes with playing the same characters and working with many of the same people help you?
- Emma: It’s just comfortable. You go to these far-flung locations and meet these people and it’s like summer camp. You become incredibly close to these people then you are ripped away and everybody goes back to their families and you never see the person again and smile uncomfortably later at a party (Andrew laughs) after having such an intimate experience and then it’s over. It’s such a strange business. You are asked to be so vulnerable with these people and create these friendships. It’s a little bit scarring sometimes to lose all your friends one day.
- With this, I think we feel, in many ways, like a family. We can talk like a family, love like a family, we can argue like a family. We have been working together on these movies for over a year when you combine the time and the time between them. It’s been three and a half, four years so that is a nice thing to know that you will see each other again.
Kidzworld: Emma, did you get to hang out with Jamie Foxx (who plays Electro) any?
- Emma: I didn’t get to do that much. I think Andrew and Jamie were tearing it up on set. They had a real bromance.
- Andrew: Jamie is an amazing actor with great presence and brought his own personality. What’s amazing about Jamie is he has this very soft, tender heart underneath all the bells and whistles. He’s a performer who is amazing to be around and he’s this tender little boy who is a fan of other people and supports them. We did this radio show recently and he was asking the most beautiful questions. He is this Renaissance man, very cool.
Kidzworld: Andrew, Dane DeHaan (from the cool sci-fi film Chronicle) plays Harry Osborn and he and Peter were buddies. Dane is a friend of yours so was that easy to develop?
- Andrew: Yeah. I think, for the fall out (between them) to be impactful, you need to feel that these two are bound at the root. The very simple way to explain that is they share the same wound which is the loss of an abandoning father and that’s a big, big thing for a young man. We need to make sure that we felt we were of the same blood somehow; that we were kin.
- I saw him in a play in New York and did a play reading with him. There are actors that make you come alive and Dane is one of those actors so that was it for me. Then, at his screen test, we loved each other immediately and got each other so I thought “If that splits apart it will be powerful”!
Kidzworld: And it was! Thanks, guys.
See The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starting May 2nd!