When he’s not swinging through the skyscrapers, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man can be found in Times Square, posing for pictures with tourists. Spidey doesn’t charge, but he accepts tips.
Age, occupation, from whence, where now?
I’m 31 years old. I’m an actor, and I’m Spider-Man some of the time. I live in the Upper East Side. I as born in New York. I moved around a lot but I always come back. This is home for me.
What kind of insane lunatic dresses in tights and stands in Times Square all day ?
I guess it is a little insane. You kind of are asking for trouble and the entire time doing it, you get it. But mostly it’s fun. You gotta be entertaining and you have to be ready to improvise for whatever comes your way. I’ve done other characters. I’ve done Batman, a Ninja Turtle, I’ve done Santa Claus. I do singing telegrams, too, so I’ve done gorillas and chickens, all wacky stuff. But for Times Square, only Spider-Man.
How did you wind up as Times Square’s superhero?
I started doing it this year. I’m an actor, and when the acting work isn’t there, I gotta have something. I used to bartend, and I just decided that I had to stop doing something as uncreative as bartending. I wanted to come up with something that’s acting and singing work, and that’s what this is. It requires you to be creative every day.
You stick around Times Square all day, you’re likely to see some chaos. Has anybody needed your heroic services?
Last week, some guy just dropped to the ground. OD’ed right in front of me. About a month ago, somebody set off pepper spray or tear gas at Toys ‘R’ Us. They had to evacuate the entire place, they thought it was a terrorist attack. I was a block away, and I didn’t know what it was. You can’t tell what’s happening. I just saw everybody running out. I just kept working. Spidey kept taking pictures.
So you haven’t thwarted any crimes?
No, I haven’t foiled any crimes, except for the ones perpetrated upon me. I get abused here and there, but like I said, you’re kind of asking for it when you’re in tights. Everything from boisterous drunk people to—people have tried to rob me. People come over and get you in a headlock or smack you around. Because you’re in those tights, you’re kind of a punching bag.
How’s your peripheral vision in that mask?
Not great. It’s like wearing really dark sunglasses. It fogs up too.
Is it warm in there?
I wear thermal under-armor. If it’s freezing cold I can’t be Spidey.
You know you really sound like Peter Parker?
At least 100 times a night, people will tell me I sound like him, so it really works.
What kind of acting have you done?
Mostly in theater. As far as film, I’ve only started doing extra work this year. I’ve done “Law & Order.” Mostly shows on the road, national tours, which is nothing I can brag about here in New York.
How angry would Marvel Comics or Sony Pictures be if they saw you?
Some guy came up to me that worked for Marvel. He was really cool about it, and told me I should work for Marvel—they do character appearances—but don’t tell them I do this.
Does the costume help you get lucky?
Well that’s one of the perks. Most women just love it. They love Spider-Man. I’ve been accosted and groped quite a bit. I wouldn’t say it’s pleasant most of the time. It’s rough.
Best bargain to be found in the city?
Gray’s Papaya. They’ve perfected it and it’s still under 99 cents.
What bygone place or thing do you wish were still around?
There used to be a bar on 85th and Third Avenue called Patty O’Brien’s. It’s a Krispy Kreme now.
Greatest celebrity sighting or encounter?
Morgan Freeman came over for a picture. He wants a picture with Spider-Man? I want a picture with Morgan Freeman!
What happened the last time you went to LA?
I don’t like LA much. To me it really does seem to be the opposite of New York, and I’m definitely a New Yorker. It’s the clichéd stuff you’d think of. In New York, we’re all real and out there they’re all fake. It’s part of the game, especially in show biz. Here we’re actors and there they’re faces.
Any advice for mayor Bloomberg?
Try and shape up the MTA. He’s a great businessman, and they have real business problems.