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Spider Sense

Tobey Maguire says he's a recovering alcoholic. The ''Spider-Man'' star is now an AA member

Tobey Maguire | TEETOTALLY RECOVERING Maguire praises AA's approach
Image credit: Tobey Maguire: Adrees Latif/Reuters/Newscom
TEETOTALLY RECOVERING Maguire praises AA's approach
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Earlier this year, Maguire complained that back problems he suffered while playing a jockey in Universal's ''Seabiscuit'' (due in theaters July 25) might keep him out of the ''Spider-Man'' sequel. But the pain in his back may have been compounded by a monkey riding on it. In the upcoming issue of Playboy, Maguire acknowledges that he is a recovering alcoholic. He says he's sober now and praises the ''no-frills spirituality'' of Alcoholics Anonymous for helping him conquer drink and get his superhero job back.

In February, Maguire's spokeswoman told EW.com that the actor was still enduring ''mild discomfort'' in his back from his ''Seabiscuit'' role and said that he might not be up to web-swinging again. She denied reports that Sony had considered his complaints a negotiating ploy and had threatened to replace him with his pal Jake Gyllenhaal (who not only resembles Maguire but is also the real-life boyfriend of ''Spider-Man'' costar Kirsten Dunst). According to the Los Angeles Times, Maguire, who dates the daughter of Universal chief Ron Meyer, had Meyer intercede with Sony on his behalf, and by mid-April, he was back on the job. As shooting on the sequel began, a source close to the production told EW.com, ''Tobey's in Spidey-shape. He's doing stunts, he's doing wirework.''

Maguire didn't reveal to Playboy when he stopped drinking, but he did give the credit to AA. ''It's just all practical,'' he told the magazine. ''There are no holes in the program. It's so, so simple. I come in, I ask for help. It has totally changed my life.''

Originally posted Jun 25, 2003