Sandman speaks!

Did you have to train hard to shed that bloated Sideways look?

"Right. Bloated. Thanks. Well, I was six months pregnant... I started physically training for the movie almost two years ago. They had a very specific image thanks to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko of what Flint Marko looked like. So my mission was to fill out that striped sweater. Oh, and fill out the haircut. It was basically a lot of weight training and rehearsing with the stunt guys."

Is Flint Marko more than just a villain?

"He definitely has an emotional life that is unfortunately largely defined by tragedy. Before the movie's story begins, and in the course of the film, you find out how his life is woven together with Peter's. And then of course there's the character of my daughter and that has its own side tragic story. People have been saying the movie seems darker and it is, not just because there's a black suited Spider-Man on the one-sheet, but in terms of darker themes."

Did the established quality nature of the franchise make it easier to say yes?

"Absolutely. It's not about 'Hey, I wanna be in a giant movie!' With the success of Sideways and the resurgence of my professional life, I wanted to pick very carefully, because you don't get a second chance very often. But I really admired Sam and almost worked with him on The Gift. But there was a feeling-out process: 'Do you wanna make a movie that I want to be in, and am I a guy you want to make a movie with...' It happened very quickly.

Did this change your preconceptions of a big action movie?

"With the post-production, CG work, you get to a point where you block it all out. You’re surrounded by the blue and green screens, and it's just about the characters. I enjoyed working more on the practical locations, the night time exterior work on the Disney Ranch north of LA, and then in New York because after a while that CG world gets tiresome. You want to smell the smells and be in the place. You crave that. It didn't change my perception, but it was a very enlightening process that now has gone on for more than two years. I was asked to do the movie in January of 2005 and was still shooting in January 2007…"

Join us again on Friday, when we rap with James Franco!

James White