Considering it’s a global box phenomenon, there aren’t many people left who don’t know about Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s worst kept secret. The film brought together all three big screen versions of Peter Parker. Now that the spiders are out of the bag, they can actually talk about what it was like to work together. And that’s just what Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield did in a Zoom interview with Deadline‘s Pete Hammond. Their conversation reveals why making the film was just as emotional as seeing it was for Spider-Man fans.
If you got overwhelmed seeing all three iterations of the character on screen together you’re not any different from the three performers. But that love and care started long before either Garfield or Maguire agreed to return. It began with Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Sony’s Amy Pascal. And that was apparent to Maguire the first time he met with the pair.
Tobey Maguire: I gotta say, I was intrigued immediately. In that conversation, the intention, the kind of love and celebration of these movies, and what it meant to Amy and Kevin, was apparent. And to me, when artists or people who are steering the creative process have kind of an authentic, genuine intent of celebration and love that was just so apparent in both of them that, I don’t know, I just wanted to join that.
Maguire agreeing to the film helped secure Garfield, who because of other press tours had to lie about it more than anyone.
Andrew Garfield: Well, I was just waiting to see if Tobey was going to do it. And if Tobey was going to do it, then I was like, ‘Well, I have no choice,’ you know? I follow Tobey to the ends of the Earth. I’m a lemming for Tobey. But that was sincerely a big part of it when I was approached about it, and again, in a similar way to what Tobey was saying, it was like, ‘Oh, the intention feels very pure here. It actually feels like a great creative idea and a great creative story.’ It wasn’t like they were just asking us to come and say hi and then leave again but actually have our presence being in service to Tom, being in service to Tom’s journey and where he is as Peter Parker.
It’s one thing to return to the role of Peter Parker and to deal with the emotions that come with it. It’s another to be the new guy waiting on the veterans to show up.
Tom Holland: It was daunting. It was very daunting. Because we were a long way into shooting before [Maguire and Garfield] showed up. We were maybe three months into principle photography. And the date of the other Spider-Mans are coming was etched on my calendar.
The closer and closer I got the more and more nervous I was. And then as soon as I met you guys in Atlanta I realized I had nothing to be nervous about.
From day one it was a roller coaster that I didn’t want to get off.
That first day wasn’t totally perfect though. But for a very funny reason.
Tom Holland: I think it was really strange, and almost a little unfair, how they had us put the suits on and then just us jump around in front of a camera together. I think that was one of the most bizarre experiences of my life.
Maguire also talked about the act of suiting up again. Practically speaking it wasn’t exactly a lazy swing through Central Park. But emotionally it helped him reconnect with the characters and his co-stars.
Tobey Maguire: Once you get through the process of really peeling it onto your body it was…I don’t know, a lot of things. It was uncomfortable getting it on. And then it’s a goof. And then is also has, I guess, a power in a sense. Because it brings me back to that character. There’s so much affinity for this character, it means so much to so many people that once the goofiness of being in lycra or spandex, once that goes away, you’re like, ‘Oh wow, this cool. This is sort of a responsibility but also a blessing. Something that I get to do, but I’m grateful for.’
But honestly, being with these guys it was just a much much richer experience than I anticipated or can even express in words. I know this is not the question about the suit, but the suit…to get to be there with these guys in their suits, and whether it was dancing around or playing in scenes, or improving, or feeling that kind of sense of service to each other and the character being in service to humanity, it really gives a certain perspective.
The suit was the doorway to that.
Those suits really do have power. While Holland says he had no idea the film would be this popular, Garfield had a sense of what it would mean to moviegoers.
Andrew Garfield: The three of us in our suits in the same frame. And just how profoundly moving that is unto itself for Spider-Man fans the world over. I think it was at that point I was like, ‘People are gonna like this movie a lot.’
The freedom director Jon Watts gave them on set to improvise led to some memorable moments, like Maguire cracking Garfield’s back and them all pointing at one another.
The fun and emotional connection they all shared while shooting didn’t end when their time together did, though. They also feel the same way about the movie many fans do.
Andrew Garfield: I watched the movie with Tobey for the first time, and I was in pieces. Like, this is a deep movie. This isn’t just fan service—which you know it partially is—this is a movie that is about coming of age, an acceptance of loss, acceptance of death. Taking responsibility for your gifts. I was torn open by the journey that Tom went on. And having to split with his girlfriend and best friend and that sacrifice? It’s classic Peter Parker. But it felt totally fresh and totally reimagined. It is like Tom’s origin story was happening in his third movie rather than his first. There’s something so profound [there].
Of course, there’s one question that remains after this multiversal mega crossover. Is this the end for all three Peter Parkers? Or will Holland return. He says he honestly does not know. But he’s okay if it is.
Tom Holland: This film for me was as special as an experience could ever be, sharing the screen with these guys. Playing Spider-Man could be quite an alienating experience because, you know, we’re the only three blokes who have done it. So to share that with you two, it’s been such a wonderful experience, of which I have such amazing memories. I don’t know. There’s part of me that feels like it’s the perfect time to jump off the building and swing off into the sunset and let the next lucky young kid come in to don the suit.
If this really was Holland’s last time playing Peter Parker it was one hell of an emotional goodbye. To all of them.