Spider-Man Actor Claims the Superhero for the Tribe
British actor and star of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Andrew Garfield claimed that the web-spinning superhero he plays on the big screen is Jewish, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
“Peter Parker (Spider-Man’s alter-ego) is not a simple dude,” the 30-year-old told Time Out London during a recent interview. “He ums and ahs about his future because he’s neurotic. He’s Jewish. It’s a defining feature.”
Parker’s mother’s religion is not apparent in the Spider-Man series but he does live with his aunt May in Forest Hills, a historically Jewish neighborhood in Queens, N.Y.
“He’s an over-thinker,” Garfield told Time Out. “He never feels like he’s doing enough. And Peter suffers from self-doubt. It would be much easier if he was a life-saving robot.”
Garfield acknowledged that the attributes he ascribed to Parker are Jewish stereotypes, but said he hopes his characterization of the vigilante doesn’t cause offense.
“I hope Jewish people won’t mind the cliché because my father’s Jewish. I have that in me for sure,” he said.
Garfield added that Spider-Man’s Jewish identity allows him to empathize with the character. He told Time Out, “I like being Peter. He’s a kid struggling with being misunderstood. We’ve all been misunderstood. That’s universal, too.”
Spider-Man creator Stan Lee is also of Jewish ancestry and some have speculated that Spider-Man’s tale is allegorical for the post-Holocaust Jews who had to start over after World War II ended, the Post reported.
Garfield also compared Spider-Man to Jesus. He told Time Out: “I don’t mind the Jesus parallel for Spider-Man. Jesus is an awesome guy. When Pontius Pilate said: ‘They say you’re the son of God. If you’re the son of God tell me.’ Jesus was like: ‘I know who I am, b****.'”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters May 2.