He was rumored to be in the running to take over the role of Parker in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 after star Tobey Maguire injured himself on the set of the horseracing drama Seabiscuit. Gyllenhaal was also dating Spider-Man’s lead female, Kirsten Dunst, at the time.
“I heard the same thing,” Gyllenhaal said coyly when we recalled as much during a recent interview in Yahoo Studios (watch above). “The truth of the matter is, in the end, he’s Spider-Man.”
“There are so many roles in my career where I was up against another actor, or something happened that possibly could’ve happened but didn’t happen but maybe it would have… Eventually my belief is when an actor’s played a character, particularly in a movie, the character’s theirs, and that’s that.
“But yeah he hurt himself and there was talk. And there was a slew of actors [possibly up for the part], and I was one of them.”
“I think I learned a lot from that movie in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick and why I’m picking them,” he said. “And you’re bound to slip up and be like, ‘That wasn’t right for me,’ or ‘That didn’t fit perfectly.’ There have been a number of roles like that. And then a number of roles that do.”
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