Tobias Vincent Maguire (born June 27, 1975) is an American actor and producer. He began his career in the 1980s, and has since become best known for his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Spider-Man films.
Maguire was born in Santa Monica, California, the son of Wendy (née Brown), a secretary turned screenwriter and film producer, and Vincent Maguire, a construction worker and cook. He has four half-brothers. He is of Austrian, Danish, English, French, German, Irish and Puerto Rican descent. His parents, 18 and 20 years old, were unmarried at the time of his birth; the two married and subsequently divorced when Maguire was two. Maguire spent much of his childhood moving from town to town, living with each parent and other family members.
Maguire's first appearance in a feature film was in 1989's The Wizard. He plays one of Lucas Barton's goons (one of three competitors at a video game competition) and had no lines. Maguire initially worked as a child actor in the early 1990s, often playing roles much younger than his chronological age; as late as 2002, Maguire was still playing teenagers while in his mid-20s. He appeared in a variety of commercials and TV and movie roles, working opposite such actors as Chuck Norris (Walker, Texas Ranger), Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), and Tracey Ullman (Tracey Takes On...). Eventually, Maguire was cast as the lead in the FOX TV series Great Scott, which was cancelled five weeks later.
During many of his auditions, Maguire found himself auditioning for roles opposite another rising actor, Leonardo DiCaprio. The pair struck up a fast friendship and made an informal pact to help each other get parts in their movies/TV shows/other projects. For example, both auditioned for the same part in the 1990 TV series based on the 1989 comedy Parenthood. DiCaprio got the part, and Maguire later got a guest role at least partially due to DiCaprio's recommendation. The same scenario played itself out during casting for the 1993 movie This Boy's Life (featuring Robert De Niro as the lead); DiCaprio got the main teen role (ironically, the character was named "Toby") and Maguire got a part as one of Toby's friends.
By the mid 1990s, Maguire was steadily working but becoming caught up in the hard-partying lifestyle of some of his fellow teen actors. In 1995, Maguire requested director Allan Moyle to release him from his part in the movie Empire Records. Moyle agreed, and all of Tobey's scenes were deleted from the final film. Maguire then sought help for an underaged drinking problem from Alcoholics Anonymous; he has been sober ever since.
As part of his recovery from alcohol and learning to deal with his self-described "addictive and compulsive nature", Maguire changed his career path slightly in order to obtain roles where he and DiCaprio would not always be in competition for the same part, and the move paid off when he got the role of Paul Hood, a teenage boarding school student whose narration anchors the action in Ang Lee's 1997 film, The Ice Storm. This soon led to a variety of lead roles where he played a thoughtful boy coming of age, in films such as Pleasantville, The Cider House Rules, and Wonder Boys.
In Ride with the Devil (1999), Maguire performed as Jakob Roedel, opposite Jewel Kilcher. Here he played the son of a unionist German immigrant who joins his southern friends in the Missouri riders, avenging the atrocities committed against Missourians by Kansas Jayhawkers and redleggers.
Between the completion of principal photography for Spider-Man and the film's 2002 release, Maguire took a role that featured his youthful-sounding voice, a beagle puppy named Lou, in the 2001 children's movie Cats and Dogs.
In 2002, Maguire shot to superstardom as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, based on the popular Marvel comic book character. He reprised his role as Spider-Man in Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007) and has vocally reprised his role of Spider-Man in the video game adaptations of the films.
Maguire's performance as Spider-Man initially earned him some glowing reviews. For instance, Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune felt 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". Towards the third part of the franchise the actor experienced some backlash in the media. "For his part Mr. Maguire needs to stop relying on those great big peepers of his: simply widening your eyes to attract attention does not cut it when you’re over 30", remarked Manohla Dargis of the New York Times in her review of Spider-Man-3.
At the time of Spider-Man 3's release, Maguire had not yet signed on for another sequel, but denied reports that he would not return for a fourth movie, stating, "I feel like the stories all deserve to be told, and, you know, if... the whole team wants to get back together, and we feel like we can make a good movie that's worth making, then I'm up for it." In September 2008, The Sunday Times reported that Maguire had signed a contract for USD$50M to reprise the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man 4 and Spider-Man 5, with both films shooting over a period of six months back-to-back in 2010. The contract also contains provisions for Maguire to take time off in the early mornings and late evenings during shooting to spend time with his wife Jennifer and their children, daughter Ruby, born November 10, 2006, and son Otis, born May 8, 2009. The precedent-setting provision was granted by Sony Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal, herself a mother.
Maguire solidified his stardom in 2003 with a leading role as the jockey John M. "Red" Pollard in the acclaimed film Seabiscuit, about the famous racehorse Seabiscuit. In 2006, Maguire starred in his first villainous role as Corporal Patrick Tully opposite George Clooney and Cate Blanchett in Steven Soderbergh's The Good German, based on the Joseph Kanon novel of the same name.
Maguire had also moved into producing. His production credits include 25th Hour (2002), Whatever We Do (2003), and Seabiscuit (2003), for which he served as executive producer.
As of November 2007, Warner Bros. has plans to fast-track a movie based on 1980s anime series, Robotech. Maguire is producing the film through his Maguire Entertainment banner and is eying the lead role in what the studio plans on being a tentpole sci-fi franchise. "We are very excited to bring 'Robotech' to the big screen", Maguire said. "There is a rich mythology that will be a great foundation for a sophisticated, smart and entertaining film...". The decision was said to have been made due to the enormous success of the Transformers film adaptation, which grossed $690 million during the summer of 2007.
Maguire is attached to produce Afterburn, a science fiction movie based on the Red 4 comic book by Paul Ens and Scott Chitwood. Neal Moritz's Original Films is also producing and Relativity is in talks to board the post-apocalyptic project, whose story is set one year after a solar flare burns half of Earth, leaving what life remains mutated from radiation and nuclear fallout. Treasure hunters then go back to the scorched portion of the planet to retrieve valuable artifacts while facing rival hunters, mutants and pirates along the way.
Maguire's company is also co-producing an adaptation of a mystery novel by Isaac Adamson called Tokyo Suckerpunch with Sony Pictures. The film, scheduled to be released in 2008, will star Tobey in the role of American reporter Billy Chaka, who investigates the murder of a Japanese friend in Tokyo.
In 2008, Maguire took on a cameo role in the action comedy film Tropic Thunder as a gay 18th century monk with his eye on Father O'Malley (Kirk Lazarus, the character played by Robert Downey, Jr. in Tropic Thunder) in the faux trailer for Satan's Alley. Near the end of the film, it is revealed that Maguire's character has been nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, which he loses. Maguire did the role as a favor to his old friend Downey in what Downey describes as "a kind of a karmic payback for he and I in Wonder Boys.
In 2009, he starred in the Jim Sheridan-directed Brothers as Sam Cahill, a prisoner of war who returns from Afghanistan to discover his wife has become romatically-involved with his brother. He received a Golden Globe nomination for the role.
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