Quantcast

Jewish Journal

Andrew Garfield:  The Jewish Spidey [SLIDESHOW]

by Naomi Pfefferman

July 2, 2012 | 5:49 pm

Andrew Garfield in "The Amazing Spider-Man" (2012)

While watching “The Amazing Spider-Man,” I was struck by how much Andrew Garfield-as-Spidey – or rather, his alter-ego, Peter Parker – reminded me of the kind of gangly geeky-cute guys you’d develop a crush on at Jewish summer camp. 

And that casting perhaps makes sense, given that Peter Parker is Jewish, speculates Rabbi Simcha Weinstein, author of “Up, Up and Oy Vey: How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero.” 

Weinstein, of course, mentions that Spider-Man’s comic book creator, Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber) is Jewish, and that the character in his opinion personifies the Jewish values of “responsibility and redemption.”  “Peter Parker’s a nerd who grew up in Forest Hills, his middle name is Benjamin and he’s motivated by guilt…I see a connection,” Weinstein told Israel National News.

“Just like generations of Jews, his ancestors were wiped away (the character’s Uncle Ben was murdered by a mugger) and whether they had powers or not, they couldn’t do anything to stop it. The theme of Jewish guilt runs as a powerful undercurrent,” he said.

Garfield perhaps can relate. “I feel like I have a really big guilt complex and that if I’m not doing any kind of good then there’s no real reason for being,” the 28-year-old actor said in an interview with IndieLondon. That complex comes from “being Jewish,” he said.  “And yes, I’m sure it stems from being privileged. I was brought up in a middle class home. I went to private school. And I was always very aware of me not earning that. I got a very good lot in life.”

Garfield is now using his celebrity superpowers to work toward the greater good:  He’s currently the ambassador of sport for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation.

Our mitzvah senses are tingling!

“The Amazing Spider-Man” opens July 3

Click to view a slideshow Tracker Pixel for Entry

COMMENTS

We welcome your feedback.

Privacy Policy

Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.

Terms of Service

JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.

Publication

JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.

ADVERTISEMENT
PUT YOUR AD HERE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

{blog_image:alt}

Naomi Pfefferman Magid is the arts & entertainment editor of the Jewish Journal, where she’s spent the last quarter century interviewing everyone from Seth Rogen, Natalie...

Read more