On Wednesday, the stars of Spider-Man: No Way Home came together for a roundtable discussion on the groundbreaking superhero film. In conversation with Variety, Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire dished on what it was like to break the multiverse in Marvel’s latest web-slinging epic, which instantly became the highest-grossing film of 2021 upon its December release and has spent five of the last six weeks as the No. 1 movie in America.
“I always knew that this film would be loved around the world; I didn’t think it would be quite as massive as it has been,” Holland told host Pete Hammond with a smile. “Only the last couple weeks have I really sort of come back to reality… It feels like we’ve been on some sort of really weird dream. It feels really strange.”
Maguire said he was “intrigued immediately,” adding, “The intention, the kind of love and celebration of these movies and what it meant… was apparent.” He continued, “It was really about getting together with these people and revisiting what was part of my history, and getting a chance to come together.”
For his part, Garfield, who headlined 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel, agreed to sign on only if the OG Spidey of 2002’s Spider-Man did as well. “I was just waiting to see if Tobey was gonna do it,” he said. “And if Tobey was gonna do it, then I was like, ‘Well I have no choice,’ ya know? I’d follow Tobey to the ends of the earth; I’m a lemming for Tobey.”
“But that sincerely was a big part of it,” he continued. “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 to come and say hi and then leave again, but actually have our presence being in service to Tom’s journey and where he is as Peter Parker. I love the destiny feeling of the multiverse expanding in this film, and that without Tobey’s Peter and Andrew’s Peter being present for Tom’s Peter at this very moment, he may not become the Peter Parker that he’s supposed to become.”
Holland revealed during the chat that Garfield ad-libbed his way through many of the film’s funniest moments, from cracking Maguire’s back to the moment where the three stars bring the popular Spidey meme to life by hysterically pointing at one another. Garfield also laughingly admitted he had the hardest time keeping the trio’s onscreen adventure a secret, as he was on multiple press tours promoting his other films, Tick…Tick…Boom! and The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in the lead-up to the premiere of No Way Home.
“[Being] thrust into the world coincided with having to lie,” Garfield said. “Having to lie for the sake of that audience reaction, I think. I equate it to when you’re organizing a surprise birthday party for someone that you love and they keep saying, ‘Mate, just tell me. I hate surprises, you know I hate surprises.’ But deep down you know they will love the surprise. I justified my unethical, lying behavior — I call it fibbing more than lying — but actually I kind of enjoyed it. It was quite fun and… I turned it into a bit of a game for myself.”
Despite the film’s groundbreaking success, Holland isn’t sure he’ll return for another Spider-Man movie in the future. “This film, for me, was as special as an experience could ever be, sharing the screen with these guys” he said. “You know, playing Spider-Man can be quite an alienating experience because, you know, we’re the only three blokes who have done it… 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 do the suit.” Watch the full conversation with the three Spider-Man stars below.
As for Garfield, he recently said he’s “definitely open” to donning the suit once again, as long as the project felt “right.” And if Holland is ready to move on from this particular superhero, maybe he’s also ready to host the Oscars? Meanwhile, Maguire seems to be back in the swing of things after a long acting hiatus, and will be starring in Damien Chazelle’s new film, Babylon.