Andrew Garfield says Spiderman is Jewish

Talia Lavin

Andrew Garfield, a British actor most famous for playing the iconic superhero in the most recent run of Spiderman movies, has given us a new Spidey revelation in advance of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2″: Peter Parker is totally Jewish.

“Peter Parker is not a simple dude,” the slender actor told Time Out London. “He ums and ahs about his future because he’s neurotic. He’s Jewish. It’s a defining feature.”

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And as the New York Post points out, Parker grew up in historically Jewish Forest Hills, Queens, where he was a socially awkward science whiz — not atypical for a Jewish teen.

Garfield tried to allay fears that he was relying on stereotypes to categorize Jews.

“I hope Jewish people won’t mind the cliché, because my father’s Jewish. I have that in me for sure,” Garfield said.

Not mentioned by Garfield, but surely part of any Jewish Spiderman origin story, is the fact that Spiderman was originally created by Stan Lee – or Stanley Lieber – a legendary Jewish comic book creator. Lee’s conception of an orphaned teen whose moral struggles formed the crux of his story seems pretty Jewish to us. In some ways, Peter Parker comes of age when he’s snacked on by that radioactive spider. You could say it was his bite mitzvah.

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Talia Lavin is JTA’s editorial assistant. She was a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine. Her poetry and nonfiction writing have been published in Tuesday Magazine, the Gamut, The Birch, Tablet, The Starry Night Review and elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter at @chick_in_kiev.