Warning: SPOILERS for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
With his improvised heartwarming line in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Andrew Garfield proved just why his Spider-Man won in the blockbuster film. Although he gained international recognition for starring in films like The Social Network and Never Let Me Go, Andrew Garfield was skyrocketed to stardom through his portrayal of Peter Parker/ Spider-Man in Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man series. A decade after Garfield first donned the superhero suit, he reprised his role in No Way Home. After months of denying his involvement in the film, he finally broke his silence and shared his enthusiasm for his character, as he revealed how he improvised his most emotional line in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Months before the film’s release, there were speculations detailing the return of previous Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Garfield. The rumors were then put to rest as audiences saw the three generations of Spider-Man appear together in No Way Home’s biggest moment. Offering guidance and comfort to Tom Holland’s grieving Peter, Maguire and Garfield’s Peter Parkers served as mentors to the MCU’s web-slinger. Simultaneously, they both revealed how their lives had been since they were last seen on-screen, all the while battling the villains from their respective universes.
After hatching a plan to coordinate their attacks, the three Peters are preparing to swing toward the Statue of Liberty when Peter-Three (Garfield) pulls the other two back and tells them “I love you guys,” which elicits awkward reactions from Peter-One (Holland) and Peter-Two (Maguire). Speaking to Variety recently, Andrew Garfield recalled how he improvised the said quote, admitting that “that was just me loving them”; the line was brought about by his excitement over working alongside the other Spider-Man actors. Furthermore, the improvised bit showed how enthusiastic and grateful Garfield was to return as Peter. It proved just how much he was bringing into the role and how much the character personally meant to him. As a result, No Way Home served as the avenue for his Spider-Man’s redemption, with more viewers now appreciating his version of the iconic hero.
Despite The Amazing Spider-Man series being met with divisiveness, Garfield’s performance as Peter Parker received critical praise. His realistic, more nuanced take on the character felt fresh, although his films were telling a quite well-known narrative. Unfortunately, he became a victim of the circumstances, and his iteration was the only Spider-Man to not have gotten a trilogy of his own. While Holland will remain as the MCU’s Spider-Man regardless of his in-universe future and Maguire’s story already received a conclusion with Spider-Man 3, Garfield was the only one whose narrative had not been fleshed out. Fortunately, No Way Home gave his Spider-Man a chance to tie up loose ends and be healed from his guilt and grief. As Peter-Three revealed in an early encounter, he became resentful and bitter after Gwen Stacy’s death. Thus, having the opportunity to save MJ (Zendaya) and not have the youngest Peter Parker lose his love interest was also a redeeming moment for him.
Furthermore, Garfield’s Spider-Man had always been a loner in his universe. Unlike Maguire and Holland, his character did not have an established best friend throughout the film series. That is why, when he realized that there are other Peter Parkers in the multiverse, he was overwhelmed enough to profess his love for his brothers — people he knew shared his gifts and pain and understood him on an intimate level. Garfield also shared these feelings even beyond the screen, with him referring to Maguire’s character as his older brother and Holland’s as the younger brother he needed to protect. These behind-the-scenes details just validated why Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man deserved better, and how Spider-Man: No Way Home helped him achieve that.
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