He's the Real Maguire
He's the real Maguire
Cider House Rules star perched on the
edge of fame
By BOB THOMPSON
NEW YORK -- Mention his buddy Leonardo
DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire gets a little
tongue-tied. Maguire isn't shy, just reserved about
his opinions on how fame affects his friend and
"I'm not, uh, in a hurry to be, uh, y'know,
famous," Maguire says in a shy stammer at a
mid-Manhattan hotel. "I'm only 24. I'm not
worrying about it."
He might be pacing himself, but the rush is on to
anoint Maguire as one of film's hot new stars.
With the new millennium dawning today, Maguire
stands out among the many candidates in the
entertainment world on the verge of global fame.
If you don't recognize him instantly now, odds are
you will soon.
That's thanks to his recent roles in The Ice Storm
and Pleasantville, his featured role in October's
Ride With The Devil, and now the lead in the film
version of John Irving's The Cider House Rules,
now playing in theatres.
In Cider House, Maguire plays Homer, the
orphan child who becomes the man in search of
his identity. Also starring are Michael Caine,
Delroy Lindo, Charlize Theron and Paul Rudd.
Typically, Maguire's 1930s period-piece
portrayal is so subtle it almost disappears from
"I told Lasse," he says of Cider House director
Lasse Hallstrom, "I wanted to do this really small,
and he let me."
By all accounts, the low-key approach worked
well. One of Maguire's fans is the veteran Caine,
who plays a doctor and surrogate father to
Homer in the picture.
"Tobey is such a good actor, you can't see him
doing it," reports Caine, who has written a few
books on acting and is critical of the brash
method school. "You just cannot see the
Caine's assessment comes as a major
compliment to the L.A.-born actor, who debuted
in a small role in 1993's This Boy's Life, which
starred Robert De Niro and DiCaprio. A few
misfires and missed opportunities followed. So
did a mental slump when he turned 19.
In 1997, the teenaged outsider role in The Ice
Storm put him on the personal and professional
recovery path, and on the must-get map for the
"quietly nuanced, coming-of-age" portrayals.
"But I'm open to any kind of part," Maguire says,
"and I definitely want to challenge myself.
"And, sure, that has been the perception, the
subtle approach. My age has something to do
with it. Some of it is coincidence, and perhaps
some of it is how some people want to see me."
He shrugs it off, then smiles as if he's reminded of
something that applies.
"It's funny. Some of the Cider House studio
people kept saying to Lasse, 'Do you think he's
doing enough?' when they looked at the dailies.
But that's how I want to bring people in."
Maguire, in fact, likes things subdued in every
way, professional and personal.
"It's true," he says. "I really wouldn't want as
much attention as Leo. I'd like to be famous for a
couple of days then anonymous for the rest of the
He chuckles, raising both hands in the air, doing
a mock surrender.
"I know that's not how it works."
In fact, Maguire keeps getting huge hints that
show business tends to be a little higher-profile
than he wants it to be.
Like just the other day, when things got out of
hand. He mentioned to his agent that he might
want to do some theatre work, if the timing was
He couldn't believe the reaction.
" 'Oh well, then,' my agent said all excited, 'let's
set up a Broadway run for you.' "
Maguire shakes his head, recalling the
"I said, 'No. No. No. I was thinking Tulsa,
Oklahoma -- for a few weeks.' "
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