UPPER WEST SIDE — Andrew Garfield, the star of the new "Spider-Man" movie, got up close and personal with a tarantula at the American Museum of Natural History Wednesday — as a movie stuntman soared down the eastern facade of the building to the delight of hundreds of fans.
The jaw-dropping stunt was part of New York City's Spider-Man Week, a slew of events celebrating the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man", the latest instalment in the film franchise. The movie's leading man Andrew Garfield was at the museum to stare down his live, six-legged counterparts at a preview of the upcoming Spiders Alive! exhibit.
Garfield greeted his screaming fans, some of them dressed in full Spider-Man suits, and posed for photos, signed their comic books, and signed autographs.
Chris Chow held his 4-year-old daughter Adelaide aloft on his shoulders for an hour, waiting for a chance to see the latest Spider-Man. Adelaide was awestruck by the stuntman, her dad said, but was too excited to speak, being a huge fan, he explained.
Norman Platnick, the exhibition curator, chatted up director Marc Webb and Garfield — who appeared in jeans, a white t-shirt and a white 1950s style nylon jacket — about the wonders of the arachnid, of which there are 43,000 species recorded so far.
"Spider's silk is a remarkable material," said Platnick. "It's stronger than steel at the same diameter, and can expand and contract."