Tobey Vincent Maguire, an American actor and film producer, was born on June 27, 1975. Having made his debut as a struggling child actor, Tobey is best remembered for his role as Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, in Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy (2002 – 2007). However, he has starred in several other movies such as The Good German, The Great Gatsby, Seabiscuit, etc. Moreover, there are a ton of interesting facts about him that would be amiss without stating.
1) Early life is always a bliss:
Born in Santa Monica, California, to parents Wendy Maguire, a secretary turned producer and screenwriter, and Vincent Maguire, a construction worker, and cook, Tobey is 1/8th Austrian and 1/8 Puerto Rican. His father was 20 and mother 18 when he was born and was unmarried, but they married later only to be divorced when Tobey was 2 years old. This implied that Maguire had to move from town to town living with either parent and other family members, in his formative years.
2) Vital transitions:
As a teenager, Tobey had plans to grow up to be a chef. In fact, he was invested and worked towards it, enrolling himself in a home economics class in 6th grade. However, his mother offered him 100$ to drop out and pursue a career in acting instead, and Tobey took the bait. It didn’t come as a surprise then, the young Tobey could not deal with such transitions easily, and it took a toll on him. Having to relocate again and again didn’t help either, in 9th grade, he finally dropped out of high school to pursue opportunities in acting instead.
3) Child actors that form bonds:
Tobey wasn’t a Bollywood star kid, and getting roles was difficult. Much of Tobey’s acting career as a child saw him take on secondary roles to established greats like Chuck Norris and Tracey Ulman. His first role was in the 1989-feature film, The Wizard, where he played one of Lucas Barton’s goons and didn’t have lines. Simultaneously, he also appeared on a variety of commercials and played a teenager well into his 20s.
During this period, he met another rising child star, Leonardo di Caprio. The pair grew close over time, became friends and thus was born an informal pact of helping each other get roles whenever the other could. The best example of this is the 1993 movie, This Boy’s Life, featuring Robert de Niro, where Leo got the lead role of a young boy (whose name, surprisingly was Tobey), and subsequently helped Tobey get the role of one of his friends. The same also happened previously in The Parenthood TV series.
4) Trist with addiction:
As an up and coming actor in the 90s, Tobey had a run-in with the hard-partying lifestyle of actors his age and developed a drinking problem. In a way, Tobey represents the microcosm of the modern world that is plagued with addictions of various kinds, such as alcohol, tobacco, and when it comes to online betting, India, USA, and South Africa top the list. Either way, Tobey described himself as having an ‘addictive and compulsive nature’ and needed help from an association. Thankfully, he has been sober since. However, his recovery made him reconsider his career, and he stopped competing with Leo for the same roles. This led to him being cast in the lead role in Ang Lee’s 1997 film, The Storm, as Paul Hood. This subsequently established him in Hollywood, and Tobey saw himself reprise roles in films such as Pleasantville and The Cider House Rules.
5) Becoming a star:
In 2002, Maguire starred as Spiderman, based on the popular Marvel comics superhero. The film was a major success and made him into a star. He went on to reprise his roles in the sequels, Spider Man 2 and 3. All these 3 movies were the highest grossing in each year, and made Spiderman a household name in America, and made Hollywood realise that superhero movies were a big bang for the buck. His performance as Spider-Man earned him some glowing reviews. Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune wrote that “with his big, round, soulful eyes, Maguire always has been able to convey a sense of wonder, and his instinct for understatement also serves him well here.” The franchise catapulted Tobey into a Hollywood celebrity.
6) Personal life:
Maguire has been a vegetarian since 1992 and a vegan since 2009. PETA regards him as the world’s sexiest vegetarian, a tag he proudly adorns. Tobey married jewellery designer Jennifer Meyer in 2007, who he had met on the sets of Seabiscuit in 2003. They had a daughter in 2006 and a son in 2009. In October 2016, the couple announced their separation after 9 years of marriage. He has been nominated for both the Screen Actors Guild as well as the Golden Globe Awards. He has also received two Saturn Awards, with one being for Best Actor. He established his own production company in 2012 called Material Pictures.