Tobey Maguire is known for playing one of the most popular superheroes in the world, and therefore knows a thing or two about fame, but he couldn’t help but feel that he was in the presence of ‘iconic royalty’ when he met Amitabh Bachchan .
Tobey Maguire, who celebrates his birthday on June 27, played Nick Carraway in 2013’s The Great Gatsby, which starred his old friend Leonardo DiCaprio in the titular role. The film also featured Amitabh Bachchan in an extended cameo as the Jewish gangster Meyer Wolfsheim.
In a 2013 interview with NDTV, on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival, Tobey was asked about working with Amitabh. He said, “It was really an honor working with him. He’s so great. He’s so thoughtful. And his presence, you can feel it. He’s regal, in a sense, but also really down to earth and so modest. I really enjoyed working with him; he’s basically a very talented actor. So it was so much fun.”
He continued, “After getting over the kind of feeling that I was in the presence of some kind of iconic royalty, then just digging into scenes with him was really great. I really enojyed that. It was an interesting, surprising way to go for that part, and I couldn’t image anybody else doing it.”
He was also made aware of the fact that he’s popular in Punjab because his films have been dubbed in Punjabi. The actor joked, “My alter-ego speaks Punjabi, and I don’t even remember it. I go into that… I’m like Jekyll and Hyde.”
Not only Tobey, Leonardo DiCaprio also gushed about working with Amitabh. “He couldn’t be a more gentle, wonderful individual to work with,” he told NDTV. “And astoundingly talented. To come and play Meyer Wolfsheim in this movie and embody that roughness and a mystery, everything that comes out of his mouth is filled with so much more and so much presence. And then you see the camera cut and he’s the perfect gentleman, just a joy to be around and a wonderful collaborator. He’s a magnificent actor and I was honored to work with him.”
The Great Gatsby, directed by Baz Lurhmann, also starred Carrie Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke, Isla Fisher and others. The film, produced on a budget of $105 million, made over $350 million worldwide. It won two Oscars — for Best Production Design and Best Costume Design.
Tobey Maguire has appeared in just three films since The Great Gatsby. His last starring role came in 2017’s Pawn Sacrifice. He is strongly rumored to be reprising his role as Spider-Man in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, and will also appear in Damien Chazelle’s new film, Babylon.