Andrew Garfield recently admitted that the experience of playing a superhero on the big screen can be "brutal."
Garfield participated in the annual actors roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter this year, alongside Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dev Patel. All six actors have made names for themselves in the indie world, but when the discussion went to blockbusters and big studio movies, Garfield had a particularly candid answer about one of his most well-known roles.
The actor, who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, said that being an actor in the superhero world was "brutal."
After Patel admitted he felt like he was watching "a stranger" on screen while viewing himself in the critically-maligned Avatar: The Last Airbender, Garfield discussed his own feelings on seeing himself in the Spider-Man films.
"I love what you just said, that you were looking at a stranger and feeling like you were perpetuating something that's toxic and something that's shallow and something that has no depth, no matter how much depth was attempted," he told Patel. "Spider-Man was my favorite superhero, my first superhero costume when I was a 3-year-old at Halloween. I was like, there's millions of young people watching who are hungry for someone to say, 'You're OK. You're seen very deeply.' And more often than not the opportunity is not taken, and it is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking because there is so much medicine that could be delivered through those films."
The Amazing Spider-Man franchise notably ended on a sour note, with the second film performing below expectations at the box office and receiving mixed reviews. There were reports that Garfield actually managed to get himself fired after "insulting" a Sony chief Kaz Hirai.
Hollywood is now rebooting the Spider-Man character yet again with Tom Holland as Spidey. Holland made his debut as the iconic superhero in Captain America: Civil War and will star in the 2017 blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming.