Spider-Man Villain Modeled on Meth Addict

By McCarton Ackerman 06/11/12

Actor Rhys Ifans says his character in the film is addicted—to transforming into a reptile.

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Rhys's character as his alter ego, The Lizard.
Photo via

If you've ever been a crystal meth addict, then upcoming blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man may be a trip down memory lane. Rhy Ifans says his character Dr. Curt Connors—whose experiments with drugs to develop replacement limbs turn him into a 9-foot lizard—develops a dependency that mirrors crystal meth addiction. “Unfortunately, he decides to become his own lab rat and the drug he takes gives him this kind of euphoria—I guess something like crystal meth," said Ifans. “That feeling becomes addictive to Connors and that’s why he keeps returning to The Lizard. You know, when guys are on these drugs they feel so brilliant and they want the rest of the world to feel as good as them, even though their behaviour is ultimately destructive to themselves and everyone around them.” The addiction theme even carries over to the music being played on set, with the song "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground playing during the scene of Connors' transformation. “When we were shooting the scene when Connors sees his new hand appear for the first time through this kind of reptilian chrysalis, the director played (Heroin)," said the actor. "You know the lyrics, ‘It’s my life, and it’s my wife.’ It’s a beautiful song about addiction. So we let this song run and just let this hand appear. It was really moving.” And while Ifans has developed a reputation for being a party animal, he claims his only addiction is to nicotine: “After seven hours in a chair with not enough cigarettes, I was kind of in the right mental state to play a man who was about to transform into a nine-foot lizard with a dangerous tail." 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.