Portraying one of pop culture’s most iconic superhero characters is a huge career move for an actor, but it’s also a hefty responsibility. Andrew Garfield catapulted to stardom after playing Peter Parker in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-ManIn a recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, Garfield recalled the biggest downside that came with the role.

When asked if his newfound fame from Spider-Man was jarring, Garfield responded: “It was. I kind of resisted it a lot. I was young. I was 25, 26 — even though that’s, you know, arguably an adult. When I was 26, no, I was not an adult. It was just a lot to hold. I struggled to hold it all. I kind of rejected it a lot.”

Many of us like to imagine that if super stardom suddenly happened to us, we'd accept it with open arms. But the day-to-day reality was something very different. Garfield aspired to be an actor from a young age, studying at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. But when he was cast as the next incarnation of Peter Parker — following Tobey Maguire's star-making turn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy — the resulting exposure was overwhelming.

Later on in the interview, Garfield clarified that he never had a problem with playing Spider-Man. “Not about the work, the work was fine. It was the attention that I struggled with to be honest,” he shared. “The visibility. The being known. The not being able to walk around the street and have a relationship or have a meal with people. I found that quite intrusive and quite difficult. It was straight after the film came out. Everything just kind of flipped.”

Since his Spider-Man days, Garfield has continued to take on interesting, complex roles including pacifist combat medic Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge and bumbling would-be detective Sam in Under the Silver Lake. He’s also had an impressive stage career, leading the 2018 Broadway production of Angels in America. 

While Garfield continues to vehemently deny that he makes any kind of cameo in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, you can catch him next as televangelist Jim Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in theaters now.

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