Tobey Maguire Reveals The Worst Part About Playing Spider-Man

Not what you might expect him to say,

By Michileen Martin | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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What was the hardest part about playing Spider-Man for Tobey Maguire? Fitting into the costume? The stunts? The obsessive fans? That wonderful dance scene from Spider-Man 3? Well, according to Maguire the thing that was really tough and bordering on dangerous was the ordeal of kissing Kirsten Dunst.

tobey maguire spider-man
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst in Spider-Man (2002)

The first entry in the Sam Raimi-helmed Marvel trilogy, 2002’s Spider-Man, celebrated its 20th anniversary recently, and The Hollywood Reporter dug up an old interview in which Tobey Maguire talks about the iconic scene in which — while hanging upside down — he kisses Mary Jane (Dunst) in the rain. “There was rain pouring down my nose … and then Kirsten pulls the mask up to [my nose] and it’s blocking the air passage there, so I couldn’t breathe,” Maguire said. “And then she’s kissing me, blocking the air passage there, so there’s nowhere else to breathe.” The actor went on to call it “torture,” saying that he was “gasping for air” every time the director yelled cut. You can see the whole interview below.

Tobey Maguire clearly suffered for one of Spider-Man‘s most memorable shots — one of the most memorable shots of the franchise, really — but it definitely paid off. Spider-Man was a hit, bringing home $825 million worldwide. He went on to star in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and 2007’s Spider-Man 3. Ironically while Spider-Man 2 is often called the best of the trilogy, and Spider-Man 3 is just as often credited as killing it, you wouldn’t know it by ticket sales. The second film was the least lucrative of the three ($789 million), while the third film made the most ($895 million). To be fair, while technically Spider-Man 3 made the most money, that doesn’t mean it profited the most. With a budget of $258 million, it was the most expensive of the three films to make; over $200 million more expensive than the inaugural film. Adjusted for inflation, that would be around $360 million today, which is more than it cost to make Avengers: Endgame.

In the mid-2010s Tobey Maguire took what we can only call a “soft” retirement from acting, but he seems to be getting back in the game. Along with reprising the role of his version of Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Maguire will play Charlie Chaplin in Babylon; due to be released in January 2023. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), the period drama will be set in the era of silent movie making and will boast an ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Li Jun Li, Jeff Garlin, Spike Jonze, Flea, Jean Smart, Olivia Wilde, and Lukas Haas.

Before Babylon hits theaters, Tobey Maguire will star in the upcoming Apple TV+ anthology series Extrapolations. The series will depict the impact of climate change in the lives of characters through interconnected stories. Like Babylon, Apple’s Extrapolations is blessed with a large and impressive cast. Stars appearing include Meryl Streep, Forrest Whittaker, Kit Harrington, Sienna Miller, Gemma Chan, David Schwimmer, Judd Hirsch, Heather Graham, Diane Lane, Edward Norton, Daveed Diggs, and Eiza González. Extrapolations is confirmed for a 2022 release, though a specific premiere date hasn’t been announced.