At the intimate press conference prior to his Comic-Con panel for The Amazing Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield was as self-effacing as ever. When director Marc Webb said to “expect great things” from Garfield’s chemistry with female lead Emma Stone, the actor demurred, “Don’t expect too much. Expect some things. Expect us to be onscreen.” Then, when Stone confessed that she signed on to the Spider-Man reboot mostly because Garfield was already attached, the embarrassed Brit vigorously shook his head and buried his reddened face in his arm. It was enough to get you wondering whether the 27-year-old Garfield would be up to his high-pressure Hall H debut just an hour later.
We needn’t have worried, though.
When the Spider-Man panel kicked off in the crowded, cavernous hall, Garfield appeared “incognito” as the first questioner at the microphone, dressed in a Halloween costume version of the Spidey suit. Then, after ripping off his mask, the clearly psyched actor delivered a heartfelt, handwritten speech about how important the role of Peter Parker is to him, and for the rest of the panel, he was clearly riding an energy high. Here is that emotional speech, in its entirety.
“You have no idea how much this means to me. I’ve always wanted to come here as a fan, and this is my first time, so here I am, as a fan. I just want to say a couple of things. I’m Andrew Garfield and I’m going to be here introducing this panel, this Amazing Spider-Man panel.
“Stan Lee says that the reason why Spidey is so popular is because all of us can relate to him, and I agree. I needed Spidey in my life when I was a kid, and he gave me hope. In every comic I read, he was living out my and every skinny boy’s fantasy of being stronger, of being free of the body I was born into, and that swinging sensation of flight. And upon receiving his power, unlike most who have become corrupted, he used it for good. And I think that we all wish we had the courage to stick up for ourselves more, to stick up for a loved one more, or even a stranger you see being mistreated, and Peter Parker has inspired me to feel stronger. He made me, Andrew, braver. He reassured me that by doing the right thing, it’s worth it. It’s worth the struggle, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth even the tears, the bruises, and the blood.
“And, and, and I wouldn’t be able to stand here in front of you guys right now without feeling that Spider-Man was here with me with his reassuring hand on my shoulder, making sure I don’t fall over and concuss myself. He has inspired countless people: girls, boys, men, women, all of us, and he’s saved lives. And he’s saved my life. And I owe Webhead a lot and I owe Stan the Man a lot and I’m humbled to be here, like you do not know, to share the work that we’ve done with all of you. And this is my first Comic-Con. This is definitely the coolest moment of my life and thank you for being here to share it with me.”