Though Tobey Maguire hasn't appeared on the big screen in a few years, his last live-action feature film credit was Pawn Sacrifice where he played chess player Bobby Fischer, his time in films has been one filled with classics and fan-favorites. Though many know him best for playing Peter Parker in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, one of Maguire's best roles and best received films is the 2003 classic Seabiscuit, which just so happens to be streaming now on Netflix. Based on book by Laura Hillenbrand, the film tells the true story of the titular race horse with Maguire playing the real-life jockey John "Red" Pollard.
Directed by Gary Ross, having previously worked with Maguire on the Oscar nominated 1998 movie Pleasantville, poduction on the film was sandwiched in-between the first two Spider-Man movies, and to prepare for the part Maguire was forced to lose weight. Playing the part of a jockey meant the actor couldn't be the muscle-bound version of himself that audiences had just obsessed over but he'd also have to get back into that shape once it was over for Spider-Man 2.
"The hard part is maintaining it while shooting," Maguire told IGN back when the film was released. "You're working 14 hours a day and you still have to be on a diet even though you're so tired and you're not getting enough sleep and all you want is sugar. I'm eating 1,500 calories a day and working out several times a week. That becomes hard and I had some mini-breakdowns where I just said, 'Bring me as much candy and donuts as you can possibly find.' I actually had competitions with a couple people. Two people each brought me different little baskets of treats but I just ended up eating it all anyway. Then I would have to pay for those breakdowns."
Starring alongside Maguire in the film were Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Cooper. Coincidentally, Banks and Maguire had just collaborated on Spider-Man (and would continue to do so for the two sequels) while Chris Cooper would eventually join the cast of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the role of Norman Osborn (a series that came to be after Maguire's version of Spider-Man was put out to pasture).
Produced on a reported budget of $87 million and would only gross $148.7 million at the global box office. Seabiscuit would go on to be nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, losing to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in its near-perfect sweep.
(Cover Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)