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Tobey Maguire

Tobias Vincent "Tobey" Maguire (born June 27, 1975) is a Canadian actor. He began his career in the 1990s, and has since become best known for his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Spider-Man films.

Early life

Maguire was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Wendy (nee Brown), a secretary turned screenwriter and producer, and Vincent Maguire, a construction worker and cook. His parents were 18 and 20 years old, and unmarried, at the time of his birth; the two married and subsequently divorced when Maguire was two. Maguire spent much of his childhood moving from town to town, living with each parent and other family members. During his childhood, Maguire entertained the idea of becoming a chef and to that end wanted to enroll in a Home Economics class as a sixth grader. His mother offered him US$100 to take a drama class instead, and Tobey agreed.

The nomadic nature of his school-age years began to take a toll on Maguire emotionally, and finally, after yet another relocation to yet another school, Maguire dropped out of his freshman year of high school and never returned, deciding to focus himself on his blossoming acting career. By 2000, Maguire had taken the GED to officially graduate from high school, noting that during his high school days, he'd reached a point where "I wasn't doing school. I was showing up, but...not really giving myself."

Career

Early career

Maguire's first appearance in a feature film was in the 1989 movie The Wizard. In that movie, he played a goon of Lucas Barton, one of three competitors at a video game competition, and had no lines. Maguire initially worked as a child actor in the early 1990s, often playing roles much younger than his chronological age; as late as 2002, Maguire was still playing teenagers while in his mid-20s. He appeared in a variety of commercials and TV and movie roles, working opposite such stars as Chuck Norris (Walker, Texas Ranger), Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), and Tracey Ullman (Tracey Takes On...). Eventually, Maguire was cast as the lead in the FOX TV series Great Scott, which was cancelled 5 weeks later.

During many of his auditions, Maguire found himself competing opposite another rising child star actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. The pair struck up a fast friendship and made an informal pact to help each other get parts in their movies/TV shows/other projects. For example, both auditioned for the same part in the 1990 TV series based on the 1989 comedy Parenthood; DiCaprio got the part, and Maguire later got a guest role at least partially due to DiCaprio's recommendation. The same scenario played itself out during casting for the 1993 movie This Boy's Life (featuring Robert De Niro as the lead); DiCaprio got the main teen role (ironically, the character was named "Toby") and Maguire got a part as one of Toby's friends.

By the mid 1990s, Maguire was steadily working but becoming caught up in the hard-partying lifestyle of some of his fellow teen actors. In 1995, Maguire requested director Allan Moyle to release him from his part in the movie Empire Records. Moyle agreed, and all of Tobey's scenes were deleted from the final film. Maguire then sought help for an underaged drinking problem from Alcoholics Anonymous; he has been sober ever since.

As part of his recovery from alcohol and learning to deal with his self-described "addictive and obsessive/compulsive nature", Maguire changed his career path slightly in order to obtain roles where he and DiCaprio would not always be in competition for the same part, and the move paid off when he got the role of Paul Hood, a teenage boarding school student whose narration anchors the action in Ang Lee's 1997 film, The Ice Storm. This soon led to a variety of lead roles where he played a thoughtful boy coming of age, in films such as Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules, and Wonder Boys.

In Ride with the Devil (1999), Maguire gave a virtuoso performance as Jakob Roedel, opposite Jewel Kilcher. Here he played the son of a unionist German immigrant who joins his southern friends in the Missouri riders, avenging the atrocities committed against Missourians by Kansas Jayhawkers and redleggers.

Between the completion of principal photography for Spider-Man and the film's 2002 release, Maguire took a role that featured his youthful-sounding voice, a beagle puppy named Lou, in the 2001 children's movie Cats and Dogs.

Spider-Man

In 2002, Maguire shot to superstardom as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, based on the popular Marvel comic book series. He reprised the part in Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007) and has provided the voice of Spider-Man in the video game adaptions of the films.

Maguire's performance as Spider-Man initially earned him some glowing reviews. For instance, Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune felt that "with his big, round, soulful eyes, Maguire always has been able to convey a sense of wonder, and his instinct for understatement also serves him well here". Towards the third part of the franchise the actor experienced some backlash in the media. "For his part Mr. Maguire needs to stop relying on those great big peepers of his: simply widening your eyes to attract attention does not cut it when you’re over 30", remarked Manohla Dargis of the New York Times in her review of Spider-Man-3.

At the time of Spider-Man 3's release, Maguire had not yet signed on for another sequel, but denied reports that he would not return for a fourth movie, stating, "I feel like the stories all deserve to be told, and, you know, if... the whole team wants to get back together, and we feel like we can make a good movie that's worth making, then I'm up for it. In September 2008, The Sunday Times reported that Maguire had signed a contract for USD$50M to reprise the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5, with both films shooting over a period of six months back-to-back in 2009. The contract also contains provisions for Maguire to take time off in the early mornings and late evenings during shooting to spend time with his wife Jennifer and daughter Ruby, a precident-setting provision granted by Sony Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal, herself a mother.

After Spider-Man

Maguire solidified his stardom in 2003 with a leading role as the jockey John M. "Red" Pollard in the acclaimed film Seabiscuit, about the famous United States' racehorse Seabiscuit. In 2006, Maguire starred in his first villainous role as Corporal Patrick Tully in Steven Soderbergh's The Good German based on the Joseph Kanon novel of the same name opposite George Clooney and Cate Blanchett.

Maguire has also moved into producing. Maguire's production credits include 25th Hour (2002), Whatever We Do (2003), and Seabiscuit (2003), for which he served as executive producer.

As of November 2007, Warner Bros. has plans to fast-track a movie based on 1980's anime series, Robotech. Maguire is producing the film through his Maguire Entertainment banner and is eyeing the lead role in what the studio plans on being a tentpole sci-fi franchise. "We are very excited to bring 'Robotech' to the big screen", Maguire said. "There is a rich mythology that will be a great foundation for a sophisticated, smart and entertaining film...". The decision was said to have been made due to the enormous success of the Transformers film adaptation, which grossed $690 million during the summer of 2007.

Maguire is attached to produce Afterburn, a science fiction movie based on the Red 4 comic book by Paul Ens and Scott Chitwood. Neal Moritz's Original Films is also producing and Relativity is in talks to board the post-apocalyptic project, whose story is set one year after a solar flare burns half of Earth, leaving what life remains mutated from radiation and nuclear fallout. Treasure hunters then go back to the scorched portion of the planet to retrieve valuable artifacts while facing rival hunters, mutants and pirates along the way.

Maguire's company is also co-producing an adaptation of a mystery novel by Isaac Adamson called Tokyo Suckerpunch with Sony Pictures. The film, scheduled to be released in 2008, will star Tobey in the role of American reporter Billy Chaka, who investigates the murder of a Japanese friend in Tokyo.

In 2008, Maguire took on a cameo role in the action comedy film Tropic Thunder as a gay medieval monk with his eye on Father O'Malley (Kirk Lazarus, the character played by Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder) in the faux trailer for Satan's Alley. Near the end of the film, it is revealed that Maguire's character has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, which he loses. Maguire did the role as a favor to old friend Robert Downey, Jr. as what Downey describes as "a kind of a karmic pay-back for he and I in (the 2000 film) Wonder Boys." It should also be noted that Downey has appeared as Marvel superhero Iron Man.

Personal life

Maguire married his long-time relationship partner, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, on September 3, 2007, in Kona, Hawaii. The couple first met in 2003 while Maguire was shooting the movie Seabiscuit at Universal Studios and became engaged in April 2006. They have a daughter named Ruby Sweetheart Maguire (born November 10, 2006). Ruby's middle name comes from a childhood nickname of Meyer's given to her by her grandmother, who died a few months before Ruby's birth.

Maguire has been a vegetarian for over 14 years and is working toward a vegan diet, though he makes vegetarian changes in his diet to either gain or lose weight for movie roles, like dramatically decreasing his calorie intake for Seabiscuit followed by a rapid increase to regain the weight for Spider-Man 2. On the subject of vegetarianism, Maguire notes that "I’m close to being a vegan, but I’m not one, technically. I don’t eat eggs, or nearly any dairy — no cheese or milk. I do eat honey, and a piece of milk chocolate here and there. It's never really been that hard for me. I’ve never had any desire to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all. It had to be the perfect bite, with no fat or gristle or bone or anything like that. I don’t judge people who eat meat — that's not for me to say — but the whole thing just sort of bums me out."

In an article for Premiere Magazine, Sam Raimi confirmed the long-standing rumor that Maguire and his Spider-Man co-star Kirsten Dunst had "a thing" going on during the 2001 shooting of the first film. As Raimi explained for the article, "I'm so dumb, because I met with them for dinner one night during the shooting to talk about the next day's scenes. And I go, 'Okay, well, that's it for the meeting.' And then I ask Kirsten, 'Can I drive you home?' And they look at each other and she goes, 'No, no, I'm going to play a game of Touch 10 with Tobey.' I don't know, it was some game. I thought, 'That's weird. She's got to work tomorrow.'"

In 2004, Maguire took up tournament poker. He has finished in the money in several events and has been tutored by poker professional Daniel Negreanu. Maguire can be seen on ESPN's coverage of the 2005, 2006, and 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event Championship. Moreover, professional poker player Phil Hellmuth said during the June 28, 2007 episode of Poker After Dark that Tobey has won $10 million by playing poker in Hollywood. Maguire played in the 2007 World Series of Poker. He survived days 1a, 2a and 3 but was eliminated in 292nd place on the fourth day, taking $39,445 in prize money. He actually ended up sitting next to another celebrity, Sully Erna, the singer of Godsmack.

Maguire loves playing basketball; he often plays pick-up games with friends (as described by author James Crotty of the alternative online travel site Monk.Com) and organizes a weekly game on Saturdays when he's both in Los Angeles and not filming a movie that day. He also enjoys watching basketball games, especially the Los Angeles Lakers, and can often be seen with wife Jennifer Meyer at courtside for Laker home games. As a baby gift, comedienne Ellen DeGeneres gave Maguire a special basketball motif stroller with Lexan dome to protect Ruby from errant basketballs so that the new family could enjoy the Lakers together.

Comic book references to Maguire

In Ultimate Spider-Man #54-59 (Hollywood), an unauthorized film is in production about Spider-Man with Doctor Octopus as the main villain. The film's male lead Tobey Maguire, Bruce Campbell, director Sam Raimi and Marvel-movie head Avi Arad appear in cameo roles.

In Spider-Girl #82, Reilly Tyne/Darkdevil is described by Peter Parker in the comic as looking "just like Tobey Maguire", a deliberate nod to Maguire's involvement in the Spider-Man films.

Deadpool, who often breaks the fourth wall, recapped the events of the ongoing Marvel Civil War in Cable & Deadpool #31, saying, "And the Boy Scout branch made a big show of cooperating, by having Spider-Man reveal his identity on national TV... as if we hadn't seen the movies already and didn't know it was dreamy doe-eyed Tobey Maguire under the mask!"

In Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #12 Spider-Man/Peter is quoted as saying to the Principal "Well You Want Acting...Go Get Tobey Maguire", a nod to him being played by Tobey in the movies.

Filmography

References

External links

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