'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' NY Premiere: Andrew Garfield Celebrates With Kids, Talks 'Introspective' Peter Parker

1:20 PM PST 04/25/2014 by Hilary Lewis
AP Images
Andrew Garfield at Thursday's "Amazing Spider-Man 2" premiere.

Cast members and producers also spoke to THR about Spider-Man's background and what it was like to film the sequel entirely in the Empire State.

Spider-Man returned to New York Thursday night with a massive fan-centric celebration.

The New York premiere of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 featured crowds of balloon- and poster-toting supporters, many of whom lined one side of the red carpet, managing to snag autographs from and selfies with the stars.

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Almost the entire cast of the highly anticipated sequel attended, along with director Marc Webb, screenwriter Alex Kurtzman, the movie's producers, Sony heads Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton and the movie's music team of Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar, who performed at the post-screening party at Skylight at Moynihan Station, a warehouse-like space inside the James A. Farley Post Office on West 34th Street. (The U.S. Postal Service is one of the movie's marketing partners.)

The party also featured red-and-blue lighting, a smoky entrance, and the chance to pose for photos crawling on the ceiling of Peter Parker's bedroom.

Earlier, Peter himself, Andrew Garfield, arrived at the premiere in a school bus with kids from New York, whom he later invited to stay for the film's Ziegfeld Theater screening.

Onscreen, Garfield portrays a different kind of thoughtfulness as the introspective teen turned superhero. Although trailers for, reports about and reviews of the sequel suggest that it delves into some heavy topics, Garfield told The Hollywood Reporter he doesn't think his character is more contemplative in this movie.

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"Peter Parker's always been pretty introspective. He's always been pretty existential, and he's always in a crisis internally," Garfield said. "I think Peter Parker's always been a really thoughtful, torn dude, and that's always been a really cool thing to see in a superhero -- someone who's really thinking."

He added that he's reluctant to assess his own performance, saying, "You can't really judge yourself as an actor -- you have to let other people do it and suffer the consequences, the slings and arrows of that."

Spider-Man fans will get to see more of this version of Peter's background as the sequel reveals more about his parents and what happened to them in the last film.

Embeth Davidtz, who plays Peter's mom, said that late producer Laura Ziskin, who worked on the first Amazing Spider-Man, hinted that her character might come back, but Davidtz didn't know the specifics of how that would happen.

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Producer and former Columbia Pictures president Matt Tolmach told THR that like all Spider-Man movies, this one is a story about a boy more than a superhero movie.

"There's no Spider-Man movie that isn't about Peter Parker, that isn't about the simple life of that boy," he said. "So in that sense, I don't look at it as just a superhero movie, it's a story about this boy who's kind of an everyman…. He happens to be wearing a skintight suit and saving the city, but it's about so much more than that. "

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first Spider-Man film shot entirely in New York, filming all over the city, on Long Island and upstate, in Rochester.

Tolmach added that it was important to capture the real spirit of the city, despite the environmental challenges of doing so.

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"There's a texture to the city that I think is impossible to replicate authentically," he explained. "There were challenges with that: It was really cold and it was raining all the time, and traffic was tough to navigate, but I'm really proud of how the movie feels. I think there's something about it that's very uniquely New York."

Tolmach added that New York's generous tax credits also helped with the decision to film in Spider-Man's home state. "By the way, New York was also very kind to us financially -- not a minor consideration," he said.

He admitted that he'd only recently heard the news of New York City's new film commissioner, so he wasn't really in a position to comment on Mayor Bill de Blasio's choice. But he hopes that other films will be treated the same way the Spider-Man production was.

"All I can tell you is, New York was unbelievable to us," he said. "The city and the state were incredible to us, and I hope that continues, because it was a gift to be able to come here."

Other Spider-Man stars on hand for the film's New York premiere included Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Denis Leary, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti and B.J. Novak.

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