Playing the role of the Marvel Comics character known as Spider-Man in a film franchise of live-action movies is not just a mere acting opportunity. For someone like Andrew Garfield, the star and actor portraying Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, in The Amazing Spider-Man films, it’s a privilege to be able to personally visit small children and give them some meaningful joy in their lives. With his personal work with children and children’s charities, Andrew Garfield has truly embraced his role as Spider-Man by visiting children in person.
Most recently, Garfield went in costume as his onscreen persona of Spider-Man to meet with children at the Kids’ City charity in London earlier this week (April 8). The Kids’ City charity provides children after-school care and activities in Lambeth, Merton, and Wandsworth. Garfield spent some time playing games and various activities with the happy children. He later went on to go on a tour of the facility and ate pizza with the children (out of costume).
The children Garfield visited were among the ages of three to 11 and reportedly confronted him about using Spider-Man’s superpowers. When Garfield later recounted the experience on the UK talk show The Graham Norton, he told host Graham Norton, “At the start these inner city kids were like, ‘Why don’t you climb the God d*** wall? Get up that wall and be Spider-Man!’ I said, ‘There are no bad guys are around so I can’t use my powers irresponsibly,’ and they eventually let up!”
Garfield was already in London for the UK premiere of his upcoming film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The sequel, based on the iconic Marvel Comics character, is due out in theaters on May 2. Garfield stars in the film alongside his real-life girlfriend, Emma Stone, who portrays Gwen Stacy in the film. While the film is still several weeks away from its North American premiere, it will be released in the UK ahead of time on April 16.
This is not the first case of Andrew Garfield embracing the role of Spider-Man by doing charity work with a child. Last month, Andrew Garfield went the extra mile to accommodate the five-year-old leukemia patient, Miles Scott (aka Batkid), after the boy was unable to receive a planned Academy Awards appearance during the broadcast. Scott’s segment was reportedly removed from the show at the last minute. Garfield was set as a presenter for the segment, and Garfield was going to appoint Scott as “Batkid.” The actor, who wrote the script for Scott’s presentation at the awards ceremony, was said to be so upset over the snub that he visited Scott at Disneyland in Los Angeles the following day. TMZ reports that Garfield also conducted a mock Oscars ceremony in Scott’s hotel room, complete with tuxedos to make the experience up to him.
One could argue that much like the character is depicted in narrative fiction, being Spider-Man is not only a gift but also a curse. For Garfield, his private life is no longer private. He’s now under constant scrutiny and can no longer live more anonymously as he was probably able to when he was a minor character on Doctor Who or featured in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. However, the way in which Andrew Garfield has embraced the role of Spider-Man by helping and visiting children is truly, like one of the adjectives used to often describe Spider-Man, amazing.
By Jeffrey Harris