Garfield spins into Spider-Man action

Garfield spins into Spider-Man action

Andrew Garfield is not the first actor you would think to cast as a superhero.

With his sensitive, soft-spoken and slightly intense energy, it is no accident that his breakout role was playing a geek - Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin - in the 2010 drama The Social Network.

But it turns out that the 30-year-old British-American actor is fully in touch with his brawny side and, in fact, dove headfirst into the physical challenges of reprising his role as the webbed crusader in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

It meant a punishing training regimen and a 4,000-calorie-a-day diet to gain 9kg of muscle after the first film, 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man.

He even excelled when it came to doing his own stunt work, which at times involved standing precariously on the edge of some rather tall buildings.

It all came pretty naturally to him, he tells Life! in an interview at the Sony Picture Studios in Los Angeles.

"I used to be a gymnast, I played a lot of sports growing up and I love dancing and being physical," he says.

In one scene, he had to stand on the edge of a ledge of a building about 80 storeys up - a real test of nerve even with safety cables. One of his stunt doubles could have done it, but the actor did not hesitate to step up himself, says stunt coordinator James Armstrong, who adds that his team "always strives to get the real man doing as much as possible".

And Garfield was "very good" at it, he says, even at the most stomach-churning stunts.

The star made it so easy that director Marc Webb thought he could do it too. Garfield recalls: "He saw me do it and said, 'Oh, that doesn't look too scary', and then he did it and I think his stomach fell out."

The actor, on the other hand, loved every second of the experience. "It was very, very high and very fun."

Rather less fun was the diet and exercise regimen, which Garfield says was noticeably harder on this second film because he was "older by a couple of years and your metabolism starts to slow down".

But his personal trainer, Mr Armando Alarcon, tells reporters: "You have to understand, his metabolism is off the charts. So it has slowed down, but it's still phenomenal."

The trainer adds that Garfield is nothing short of a "finely tuned athlete in all regards" and took to his exercise programme, as well as to the stunt training, like a duck to water.

In addition to more fun exercises such as hiking, surfing and basketball, the pair did a lot of heavy lifting so that Garfield could bulk up for the role - a gruelling routine that began four to five months before he even stepped on the set.

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