Denis Leary was surprised to learn that The Amazing Spider-Man Director Marc Webb would let him improvise when he took on the part of Captain George Stacy.
He told Vulture, “originally when I was talking to [director] Marc [Webb], because I was wondering why he was making a giant blockbuster, he was telling me about how he wanted to do all this improvisation and character study, which they almost never do in these big-budget action movies. So a lot of the stuff in the movie, we would do the scripted version once, and then five, six, seven more takes where we could play around—which, again, is unheard of in these kinds of movies.”
Leary also talked about another scene where the cast got to “play,” the dinner scene. “It was the first week we shot, it was our first big acting scene together, and we had three days on that one,” he said. “I have a daughter who is two years younger than Emma, actually, so it was really easy for me to relate to that relationship, and to relate—or not relate—to Peter Parker, Andrew [Garfield.] I got to say, those two are not just young Hollywood stars. They’re great actors, and they have deep toolboxes. And they came into work every day, ‘How do we make the scene better?’ I’m supposed to be intimidating Andrew’s character, and at one point, Marc kneeled down to tell me, ‘You got to step it up.’ And I went, ‘Holy shit.’ Because Andrew and Emma were so good, I had to step up my game. Wow. Everybody thinks they can improvise, but very few actually can, because they haven’t taken the training, but Andrew and Emma are really good at that. You have to be able to do it, and it was a wake-up call for me.”
The Amazing Spider-Man is in theaters now.