Seabiscuit doesn't horse around. The acclaimed film, about the Depression-era racehorse and his rider Red Pollard, took a $110 million bite out of the box office and could win big again on Jan. 27 that's Oscar nomination day. But Tobey Maguire, who shed 23 pounds from his 5'8" frame to play Pollard, brushes off any talk of a possible nod for himself. "I'm a young guy," says the 28-year-old, never-nominated star. "Right now I'm not concerned with that kind of thing." Instead, like Martha Stewart and her salad, he's here to talk about the Seabiscuit DVD. Due for release Dec. 16 in a single-disc format and a two-disc gift set, it boasts some rare extras including setside photos (taken by Maguire's co-star, Jeff Bridges) and director Gary Ross delivering backstage dish in a new process called "virtual commentary."
TV Guide Online: Seabiscuit was considered a big risk because it's so old-fashioned, yet it turned out to be so retro it's radical.
Tobey Maguire: It's so emotional, I knew it would be a success. (Laughs) But, then, I thought that about Ride with the Devil [his 1999 Civil War flick, co-starring Jewel]. And maybe a thousand people saw that one.
TVGO: You specialize in playing sensitive, conflicted geek-types. Ever yearn to play a bad-ass?
Maguire: Like Edward Norton in American History X? Yeah, I'd do it, but only if it's a great story. That's what matters to me.
TVGO: You do have a reputation for being picky with scripts.
Maguire: For a lot of actors, fame and money are the driving forces. Not me. I did Wonder Boys, then waited a year and a half to do Spider-Man, then waited another year and a half to do Seabiscuit. That's one film in three years. I don't work a lot.
TVGO: You buffed up as Spidey, starved yourself to play Red, then re-buffed for Spider-Man 2 [due in theaters July 2]. You're like a yo-yo dieter.
Maguire: And, I'm tellin' ya man, I am so over it! I had something to prove to people when I was cast as Spider-Man. I had to be gaunt for Seabiscuit, so I made it a personal challenge. But I had nothing to prove with Spider-Man 2, so it was torture.
TVGO: So we shouldn't expect the Tobey Maguire weight-loss book?
Maguire: No way. People having trouble with their diets are always asking me how to lose weight. I'm like, "There's no secret. Just do it." It's not what they want to hear.