With as many clips, trailers, posters, and TV spots that have aired, you’d think by now that we know the untold story of The Amazing Spider-Man. And while it’s true we have a pretty good idea that Peter Parker gets caught up in dealing with The Lizard, falling for Gwen Stacy, and trying to balance out a normal life, this fresh and darker take on the superhero still has a few secret tricks and behind the scenes antics up its web slinging sleeve.
I recently spoke over the phone with Leif Gantvoort about his mysterious character “Glasses,” and while I know that he plays a villainous thug who causes a bit of havoc and is “pretty intricate to the plot,” the actor kept mum about the details.
I’ve got a hunch that Glasses might have a certain interaction with Peter’s Uncle Ben but when pressed, Gantvoort kept solid on neither confirming nor denying my theory.
Yet the actor was eager to talk about getting the role, working with Marc Webb, and just how “amazing” this new film will be when it finally hits theaters.
“It’s one of those things that early on you have a vague idea of what the scope of it is. There’s this anticipation and excitement that’s built into it, just knowing what it is, even so it doesn’t come close to the actual event,” Gantvoort said about joining the anticipated film.
“Walking on set the first time, being on the set that was that huge, it just blew me away. It was a very humbling experience because I’ve been putting my nose to the grindstone for a long time in this industry for too many years and to finally get an opportunity like this is just unbelievable. And its been an amazing process, every step of it.”
The actor has been in numerous roles and even worked on TV shows like Revenge and Justified, but he admitted that “There’s a different energy to film in the sense that there is a finality to it. There’s a certain amount of time to get the film ready, to get it done, there’s a release date and so there is an end in sight. The energy and everybody is focused towards that goal.
He continued: “With a television show, while each episode has its own particular goal, there’s still things that develop as you work on that show. It’s constantly moving and constantly changing. The energies are just different. I wouldn’t say one’s better than the other.”
As for working with director Marc Webb, he was surprised by his approachability and “the fact that he was as excited and wanted to be a part of [the movie] as much as I did.”
“My first day on set was sort of a costume test and I get in costume and they’re walking me towards one of the sets on Sony, and you walk through the door and there’s this huge massive construction project inside and there’s hundreds of people all over the place and they’re escorting you through these people and then they take me to video village and there’s sitting Marc just relaxed, kicked back, and he goes ‘Hey, man.’ “
Gantvoort laughed, “There was no stress on him. He was in his element. He was ready to go. He was so easy going and so fun to work.”
And despite the fact that three other films about Spider-Man already exists, the star enjoyed “Marc’s goals to give it that human element to make [Peter Parker] a real person in a real world in this real life changing event.”
“I’m a fan of the other three films for the most part but I think one of the things I always appreciate in film is when the director comes in and says ‘what’s the human element here?’ and this film addresses that more.”
He even remarked on Spidey’s sense of humor as a “humanistic response because its a coping mechanism. From the nature of the character, he’s not the most physically imposing superhero there is, so walking into a scenario, people aren’t going to take him seriously, so he uses that to his advantage.”
But it wasn’t just about being a part of the wall crawling superhero movie that was enjoyable for the actor.
“When we were shooting in NY, it was all night shoots and one of my personal favorite moments after the first night of shooting there, I was walking back to my trailer and it was probably four in the morning and I hear a voice behind me and it’s this little girl saying, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” And I turn around and its this little girl with a parent and she’s holding up a piece of paper for me to sign and so that was my first autograph experience on that set and it was just very humbling and very nice and kind of encapsulated the entire project for me. There were people that cared that much that this little girl was up all night watching the shoot and then approached me for an autograph.
He added excitedly, “And then the very next night we were a little more exposed in the streets and we were shooting and there were literally hundreds of people standing around watching. It was amazing.”
Even with all the buzz surrounding this movie, Gantvoort has kept busy by working on a horror film called Last Stop with Brian Austin Green and Mena Suvari, as well as a project he wrote called Surprise Wedding that’s based on his own real life event of giving his wife an actual surprise wedding.
Of course, the humble actor’s enthusiasm for the film comes very much as a Spider-Man fan.
“It’s odd because the first trailer that came out, I of course clicked on it going “Oh, I hope I’m in the trailer,” knowing that I’m not going to be. My character isn’t one they’re going to use and advertise with and I keep watching thinking “Am I going to pop up? Am I going to pop up” and by the end of trailer, I totally forgot I was in the movie because I was so excited to see the movie on its own merits. That’s what I’m most excited about is just sitting int the theater and getting engrossed in the characters and forgetting that I’m a part of it because I’m a fan of films and that’s why I chose to get into this industry and I just love that experience.
“[This movie] is made for the fans.”
Discover the truth behind Glasses and the untold story of Spider-Man when it opens July 3.