New Spider-Man Andrew Garfield Was ‘Waiting for This Phone Call for 24 Years’

When 27-year-old Andrew Garfield was cast two months ago as the new Spider-Man, he was largely unknown. And since not much has been heard from him since the announcement, he’s … remained largely unknown. So his comments this weekend to the Hollywood Reporter — the first time he’s spoken publicly about the career-altering role — were eagerly anticipated. Is he nervous about filling Tobey Maguire’s red-and-blue suit? Does he Google himself every night to see what the buzz is? Maybe text his Social Network co-star Justin Timberlake for some tips on handling the pressure?

Well, based solely on his answers in this interview, it would seem Garfield is going to be just fine. The actor — who will next be seen opposite Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley in likely Oscar bait Never Let Me Go — comes off as quite composed and genuinely thrilled about taking on the iconic role.

“[I’m going to] just approach it like any other job that I care about deeply. That may be naïve of me to think that I can just get away with that. But if you give focus to something, it will grow. I just want to be an actor, really. And of course all those things came into consideration when I was making the decision. But at the end of the day, I had faith that I would be able to not be defined by it. And I still have faith that I will be able to get lost in roles and just keep doing what I love to do.”

As for immediate preparations for the film, which will begin shooting this December, Garfield says he’s working primarily on his fitness: “Flexibility is my main focus right now. Making sure that I can be as flexible as possible. It’s all kind of starting up so I haven’t really got much to say about it.” And Spidey fanboys will likely feel reassured by Garfield’s surprisingly deep-rooted connection to the material:

“I have been waiting for this phone call for 24 years, for someone to call me up and say, “Hey, we want you to pretend to be a character that you’ve always wanted to be all your life, and we’re going to do it with cool cameras and cool effects and you’re going to feel like you’re swinging through New York City. Do you want to do that?” [laughs] “Let me just consult with my seven-year old self and see what he thinks…” So my seven-year-old self started screaming in my soul and saying, This is what we’ve been waiting for. Like every young boy who feels stronger on the inside than they look on the outside, any skinny boy basically who wishes their muscles matched their sense of injustice, God, it’s just the stuff that dreams are made of, for sure. It’s a true fucking honor to be part of this symbol that I actually think is a very important symbol and it’s meant a great deal to me, and it continues to mean something to people.”

Kind of refreshing to come across an actor who sounds so authentically pumped about a role, no?

TELLURIDE: Andrew Garfield Q&A on ‘Never Let Me Go,’ ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Spider-Man’ [Risky Business/HR]

New Spider-Man Andrew Garfield Was ‘Waiting for This Phone Call for 24 Years’