Andrew Garfield's chief reason for taking on the titular role in The Amazing Spider-Man? "He saved my life," the 27-year-old actor revealed at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. Friday. "I needed Spider-Man in my life as a kid and he gave me hope. He was living mine and every skinny boy's fantasy."

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Appearing on stage with costar (and real-life girlfriend) Emma Stone, the unassuming Brit said he hopes his performance lives up fans' expectations.

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"I'm approaching this like it's Shakespeare or modern myths," Garfield said. "We still want to see these stories, we still want to see these characters. It's another chapter in a comic book story that means so much to so many people."

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Stone, 22, plays Garfield's onscreen love interest Gwen Stacy. "I can't play a character without making it my own a little bit," she said. "So hopefully it's all right that I'm playing her."

The Amazing Spider-Man arrives in theaters July 3, 2012.

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