Rhys Ifans might be best known for his hilarious role as Hugh Grant’s quirky roommate in “Notting Hill,” but this summer audiences will see a whole new side of the British actor when he stars as Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard in Marvel’s “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
The 44-year-old actor thinks the latest version of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger will connect with fans in a way other superhero stories don’t.
“Whereas Superman is a godlike guy from another planet and Batman is this mysterious, unknowable billionaire, everyone in Spider-Man is human and flawed,” the actor told Playboy in an interview for their June issue.
He might play a scientist who is transformed in a beastly reptile in his upcoming movie, but if the actor actually possessed powers, he’d hope for something simplistic.
“I would be Luddite-Man. I am not gadgety at all. It’s not that I’m appalled by technology, but I’ve taken my time acquiring any of it,” he told the mag. “As Luddite-Man, my superpowers lie in delaying the adoption of new technology.”
As for his breakout role in 1999’s “Notting Hill,” Rhys said he committed to the part – and his disheveled look – so seriously that it might have frightened his co-stars.
“Julia [Roberts] never saw me as I normally look so she probably thought I was some guy they found in the street. It wasn’t so much a Method acting approach I was taking; it was quite simply that we were filming at Shepperton, a studio that can take several nightmarish hours to get to and from. I thought, ‘How am I going to get around this torturous journey?’ So I got a tent and a sleeping bag and camped near the studio, which sort of helped with the whole unkemptness of the character,” he explained. “Due to insurance and liability issues, a limo still had to show up to drive me to the studio. So every day this guy who owned the campsite would watch me walk across the field, get into a limo and be driven away.”
“The Amazing Spider-Man” – which also stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Campbell Scott, Irrfan Khan, Martin Sheen and Sally Field – swings into theaters on July 3.