Tobey Maguire talks ''Spider-Man.'' The newbie action star says forget the naysayers, he's the perfect Peter Parker
Tobey Maguire
Credit: Tobey Maguire: James Patrick Cooper/Retna

When ”Spider-Man” opens on May 3, the contemplative star of ”Cider House Rules” and ”Wonder Boys” will — if all goes according to plan — be transformed into the big screen’s next (and most unlikely) action star. talked with Tobey Maguire, 26, about why he was never a fan of the superhero he’s playing, and what it took to get into web-slinging shape.

Did you find action movies to be a lot more grueling than less, well, active films?
Not in the way you might think. You sit around for a long time because the set-ups for each shot are so involved. And you end up doing these tiny little shots, things that feel so insignificant in the huge puzzle of the film, though obviously it all matters. But I don’t mind sitting around because I can get caught up on my reading and call my friends.

That sounds tedious.
Actually, working with [director] Sam Raimi was a blast. He’s really into his family, which I admire, so weekends were pretty sacred. Though I love working, I don’t really love the aspect of filmmaking where you occasionally have to flush your entire life down the toilet. I liked it more when I was younger, but now I have a good life.

Could you breathe in that suit?
The breathing was okay, but I lost a little peripheral vision, and sometimes the lenses would fog up, even though they’re supposed to be non-fogging. And the shoes didn’t have much support. I guess you could say it was an extremely glorified leotard. But it was fun to walk around in the thing with people tripping out, saying, ”There’s Spider-Man!”

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