Tobey Maguire called out his upside-down kiss in Spider-Man as “torture” to film in a newly resurfaced interview. In celebration of the movie’s 20th anniversary, fans are taking a look back at previous comments from Tobey about the blockbuster, including one where he said he went through a grueling process to capture the moment Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane smooched his Peter Parker, aka your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. In the 2002 flick, Mary Jane plants a wet one on the web-slinger, who is hanging upside down after he saved her from being attacked in an alley.
“There was rain pouring down my nose … and then Kirsten pulls the mask up to [my nose] and it’s blocking the air passage there, so I couldn’t breathe,” the now- 46-year-old actor said in a previous interview, per The Hollywood Reporter. “And then she’s kissing me, blocking the air passage there, so there’s nowhere else to breathe.”
He went on to say he was “practically suffocating” from the lack of oxygen and resorted to taking quick breaths out of the side of his mouth. “It was really tough, actually,” he added. “It was really challenging. They’d yell cut, and I would be [gasping for air], totally out of breath. It was torture. It makes you realize how important oxygen is.”
He echoed the sentiment in an interview with ET around the same time, per KTVB, saying, “I couldn’t breathe out of my mouth and I had to hold my breath while I was kissing her. The conditions weren’t as sexy and sweet and romantic as it came off.” For her part, Kirsten agreed, adding at the time, “It was like I was giving him CPR, because he couldn’t breathe in his suit. It’s not a good way to kiss.”
Despite the less-than-stellar conditions during the scene’s production, the kiss certainly paid off, as Spider-Man became the very first movie to reach $100 million in a single weekend. Tobey would reprise his role in two more sequels for the franchise until Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland took over the superhero tights.