'Spider-Man's' Gwen Stacy Breaks the Silence
Howard discusses her superhero experience
After a brief stint as a blond for her role as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi's big-budget superhero sequel, Howard's hair is back to its more familiar red coloring as she does the press circuit for "Lady in the Water." While she's excited to talk up her "Water" turn as a mysterious and mystical young woman named Story, she is also eager to discuss next summer's big blockbuster.
"I have to say I had the most unbelievable time doing 'Spider-Man 3' because everyone who's involved with that film has so much integrity and their hearts are in exactly the right place and they only want to tell a story that's the most entertaining, that's the most moral story and, ultimately, the most artistically compelling, because they have opportunity here to make a movie that they know people will show up to, so they're like, 'OK, we're not gonna sit back here and just sorta ride this. We're gonna really push ourselves,'" Howard raves, somewhat breathlessly.
She continues, "And Sam is at the center of that. What's fascinating about how he works is he's really like, 'This is a team effort. Let's go, go, go.' And it's like he's the camp counselor and he's got all of the kids at camp and he's just wrangling them and letting all the kids play in all the different ways they want to play and it's just pulling the best from everyone, whereas with Night, it's truly, everything comes from him, with Sam, lets everyone come up with everything and then he makes choices and so ultimately it is like The Sam Raimi Film, but everyone has their fingerprint on that film."
Howard adds, "It was so fantastic to do 'Lady in the Water' and work with an auteur and then to do 'Spider-Man 3' and to work with an auteur and they have totally different ways of working and both completely effective."
The Gwen Stacy character is a fan favorite from the "Spider-Man" comic. She is Peter Parker's first love and one of the pivotal presences for the early days of the franchise. Although many of Stacy's story details have already been appropriated for Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane, Howard promises that distinctive aspects of the character remains. She also says that she feels no pressure taking on the iconic role.
"Not a pressure, but a responsibility and a joyful responsibility," she says. "It was so great for me to go through all of the comic books and read everything and brainstorm with everyone like, 'OK. How can we bring this woman to life in a way that will both be surprising and appropriate and will fulfill people's expectations.'"
Several attempts to get Howard to expand on what Stacy's part in movie will be are quickly thwarted by laughter and the matter-of-fact response, "I can't say."
Her final word on the subject is encouraging, though.
"If you're a fan of 'Spider-Man,' I can confidently say you'll be satisfied."
"Lady in the Water" opens everywhere on Friday, July 21. "Spider-Man 3" is slated for a May 4, 2007 release.