SAN DIEGO — For his last Comic-Con appearance, nearly a year before the release of 2012's "The Amazing Spider-Man," Andrew Garfield wore a store-bought Spider-Man suit and gave a heartfelt speech about what the character means to him.
Thousands of fans who'd known Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker instantly had reason to embrace the new star.
But Garfield was just as nervous before appearing inside the San Diego Convention Center's largest hall recently to promote "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," which is set for release next year.
The 29-year-old actor again attended the presentation in his Spidey suit — this time a screen-worthy version — before appearing as himself to answer fan questions. He spoke with The Associated Press about Comic-Con, his hopes for the second film and why he's afraid of famous people.
AP: What's it like to be back at Comic-Con after your first experience?
Garfield: I had so much fun, and I think about it often. It was a real highlight. It was like part extreme sport — it felt like skydiving, the amount of adrenaline that I had. I was like shaking and breathing incredibly hard. But being able to say — we all want moments like that in our lives where we go (exhales), 'This is who I am. Hello! This is genuinely who I am.' And they're rare. They do take courage, but they don't have to, and it's weird because that's what Spider-Man has helped to give me through my growing up, is courage to move forward even with the fear. So to come back here is really nice, nerve-racking, overwhelming. Nothing's really changed.
AP: Your recent remarks that Spider-Man could be gay generated a lot of response. Were you surprised?
Garfield: I don't know about the response. All I know is it's an interesting question, more philosophically than anything. Obviously making this version of Peter Parker suddenly bisexual or gay wouldn't really make logical or dramatic sense. It was a hypothetical kind of question about the nature of these comic book characters and the nature of this particular character, and whether sexuality, race, any of those things makes any difference to the character of Peter Parker. ... What Stan Lee created is an Everyman for every man. Especially the underdog. And especially for those marginalized, for those ostracized. And who is more ostracized as young teenagers than gay young teenagers? So it was more a philosophical question about that. And I long for the day where a comment like that wouldn't make anyone batter an eyelid.
AP: How do you like working with Jamie Foxx, who is playing the villain Electro?
Garfield: Famous people scare me. I get really nervous around famous people. ... I overcompensate (with) how unimpressed I am, which is completely and utter rubbish. So I'm a fan. But of course, with someone like Jamie who's not only this presence, but such an incredible talent, multitalented, who I've been a fan of for ages, is just a great man, a great person, and a gentle, kind, good soul and good spirit, and then suddenly it's like, let's shoot some hoops, have a chat, meet his daughter. It's that weird myth of fame, of actors and musicians or whatever being any different from anyone else. It's that weird thing that I still (get) excited: Oh they're on a pedestal, they're better, they're better, they're just better. It's just not the truth. I love busting that myth any chance I get.
AP: How do you like working with Emma Stone, and is there a danger of taking work home?
Garfield: Well, you're assuming something there, which I will not be commenting about.
AP: So how do you like working with Emma Stone?
Garfield: I love it. She's a great gal, and, as we all know, a singular talent, like a completely unique, singular talent. She just was born like a purebred, in terms of you just say 'go' and she goes. It's infuriating because I can't keep up with it. So it's beautiful to work with such an incredibly talented and wonderful person.
AP: Where does Spidey go from here?
Garfield: We've got such a multidimensional story with multidimensional characters and a real cohesion. It's big, it's small. I've just got such a good feeling about it. I'm really hoping it lives up to my expectations.