“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” kicked off the summer season as the first large May release.
While the Spidey sequel is filled with giant action sequences, villains, and a set-up for the future of the Sony franchise, Andrew Garfield says it has a particularly strong message that should resonate with kids and adults alike.
Recently, we attended an event for the Worldwide Orphans (WWO) with Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield and CEO & Founder Dr. Jane Aronson.
Garfield has worked with the organisation, which helps better the lives of orphaned children, since 2011, when he traveled to countries including Ethiopia and Haiti as an ambassador.
The actor spoke with Business Insider briefly about what he wants kids to get out of the film.
“The way I feel about Spider-Man and Peter Parker is he is a metaphor for all of our lives in the sense that we are all Peter Parker,” Garfield told us. “We are all ordinary, we all [have] the same imperfections and struggles. We all have flaws and we all are fallible. And we are all Spider-Man in a sense that we have something extraordinary to give. We have some superpower whether that be for heroism, whether that be for art, whether that be for creativity, whether that be for science, mathematics, athleticism.”
Garfield referenced his own experience growing up in a middle-class working family in the South of England.
“I was conditioned to believe that unless I was going to be a lawyer, a doctor, or a businessman, I wasn’t worth it,” said Garfield. “And that somehow got deep into my psyche.”
In the sequel, Garfield explained how we see a similar theme with characters like Jamie Foxx’s Electro becoming ostracized.
“What we’re dealing with in the film is this very simple idea that if you’re not seen and you’re not heard and you’re not given validation and you’re not given a place in your society and you’re not appreciated for who you are … it creates an unhealthy response,” says Garfield.
One scene from the film shows Garfield’s Spider-Man help out a boy being picked on by larger kids. Spidey swoops in to save him and then walks him home.
We see the same boy again later in the film standing up to Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, before Garfield steps in to take the reins.
The scene stands out in a flurry of superhero movies that generally don’t give the main hero a moment to help out an individual — more specifically, a child. There is a scene in 2005’s “Batman Begins” where the Caped Crusader helps out a young boy played by “Game of Thrones” actor Jack Gleeson (Joffrey), but the majority of superhero films from “The Avengers” to this year’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” are seen making worldly efforts to help save mankind as opposed to individuals. In “Man of Steel,” we witnessed a young Clark Kent save a busload of children before becoming Superman, but later demolishing Metropolis (Chicago) putting hundreds in harm’s way.
Garfield previously told The Guardian he was introduced to the character of Spider-Man because of his own bullying experience growing up.
“The beautiful thing about Peter and Spider-Man is it makes everyone in the audience go, ‘I can be extraordinary, too. In fact, I just am extraordinary, I just have to identify what my personal, individual extraordinariness is,'” says Garfield. “So if they can get that from this movie, even on a subconscious level, I think that would be wonderful.”
Garfield added, “This doesn’t mean you have to swing around New York City, this just means follow your bliss, find out what you love and dedicate yourself to it.”