Andrew Garfield, star of new 'Spider-Man' flick, is Tony nominee

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  June 10, 2012 at 10:02 PM
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NEW YORK, June 10 (UPI) -- British actor Andrew Garfield says he approached his role as the titular web-slinger in the upcoming movie "The Amazing Spider-Man" much the same way he did the character of Biff in the recent Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman."

"There's not much difference, weirdly enough. In terms of how I approach it, my only intention was to honor the character. That goes for Biff Loman, as well as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. That was everything to me. So, my approach was the same -- just from my heart and guts and I got very upset and stressed out and wanted to do a good job, as is my way. And that's kind of it," the 28-year-old actor told United Press International during a press conference promoting "Spider-Man" in New York Saturday.

"There were certain things that were challenging about Loman, of course," explained Garfield, whose performance in the play earned him a Tony nod for Best Supporting Actor.

Although he lost out at Sunday's ceremony to Christian Borle of "Peter and the Starcatcher," "Salesman," which finished its limited engagement last week, won the Tony for Best Revival of a Play.

"The repetition of going through trauma every night on stage is a killer and your body doesn't know it's not real, even if your mind does. So, your body is in a lot of pain and your heart is in a lot of pain. But it's worth it. I always think about that. That it's an experience of my life that I will hold very, very close to me," he said of starring in the classic stage tragedy about the tense relationship between a father and his two sons.

"And then, with this movie, the technical aspects -- the only thing that was kind of a challenge was it was difficult to get into a rhythm because of the 3D cameras," Garfield noted. "The new technology was difficult for everyone involved. They take a lot of care and delicacy, so it meant we were stopping a lot. I love just going and going and going and keep it rolling and rolling and screwing up and screwing up and screwing up, then occasionally actually getting something right ... and that's how I like to work. And that's why I loved working with David Fincher [on 'The Social Network.] He does so many takes. I discovered how that kind of painful exactness really suits me, so that was cool."

"Death of a Salesman" is nominated for seven Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play and Best Actor for Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays Willie, Biff's delusional, demanding father.

Asked if he is excited about going to the Tony Awards show in New York, Garfield said, "Sure! I think it'll be fun. I'm excited to go with Phil and all those guys. Yeah, it will be nice."

Co-starring Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field, "The Amazing Spider-Man" is to open in U.S. theaters July 3.

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