Denis Leary’s “Spider-Man” Role Owes Debt to “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

When he took on a pivotal role in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Denis Leary got a stamp of approval from a genuine Spidey-loving pal – who also happens to be “Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Jeff Garlin. 

“I have a good friend, Jeff Garlin, who is a Spider-Man freak,” Leary tells PopcornBiz, “and he was the first guy that said to me: “The first time I met you, I thought you were George Stacy,” and that was 30 years ago. He had an old comic book frame on his computer and he showed it to me, and I was like, “You’re sick!” And he was like, “No, I’m a Spider-Man freak.” People take it very seriously.”

Leary says he wasn’t previously conversant with Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.’s original Spider-Man comic book storyline that introduced his character Capt. Stacy - the policeman father of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), the love interest of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) – before taking the part. “I’m more of a Batman guy – not the ‘60s Batman, but the really dark Batman,” he says. “My wife was a Spider-Man nut, which is why I went to the Tobey Maguire movies.”

The wall-crawler’s rebooted installment is more in line with Leary’s preferred kind of comic book adventure. “It’s a pretty dark vision, the new Spider-Man,” says the standup comic-turned-formidable dramatic actor. “It’s a darker story, but there are some very funny things in it. Some of them were scripted, and some of them came out of the work.”

Leary says he was wowed by the comic book saga’s new central couple. “They’re actually more mature than I am, so that says a lot,” the “Rescue Me” star asserts. “I loved Andrew, I really did. He’s terrific in the role. He was trained as a gymnast when he was growing up in England, which came in handy. Most of the stunts in the movie are done live, in front of the cameras. There’s a ton of stuff. He’s just a terrific actor. I really loved working with him. I thought he was great. Same thing with Emma. She’s 22 years old - I don’t want to tell you what I was doing when I was 22 years old. I was very impressed by her.”

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