Tobey Maguire matures, goes to war for "Brothers"

Thu Dec 3, 2009 2:13pm EST
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hollywood has finally realized that Tobey Maguire has grown up. The actor who gained fame as a teenager in the "Spider-Man" movies has embraced fatherhood and a new role as a soldier whose family is torn apart by war.

The 34-year-old actor is now a married father of two and appearing in his first film in two years since "Spider-Man 3", the adult drama "Brothers," which debuts in major U.S. cities on Friday and looks at soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

"Brothers' explores the psychological ravages of war and points to the difficulties soldiers face returning to their loved ones in the United States.

As President Barack Obama escalates U.S. involvement in that country, it serves as a cautionary tale of post-traumatic stress for adults mindful of what combat does to men and the families they leave behind.

"They are embarrassed or ashamed and also feel like other people can't understand," Maguire told Reuters. "We have to be more proactive as a society to reach our hand out to them."

During the film, Maguire's character is captured by Taliban fighters and "Brothers" explores the trauma of returning home to suburban American to his wife, played by Natalie Portman and his brother, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

It is a step away from the gentle portrayals of teenagers and young men the California-born actor forged a career from in films like "The Ice Storm," "The Cider House Rules" and "Wonder Boys" and, of course, the bookish Peter Parker.

Maguire told Reuters he hoped the movie would "shed some light on an uncomfortable topic" of the fallibility of soldiers and would produce a more open dialogue between soldiers, their families and their communities.   Continued...

<p>Actor Tobey Maguire attends the "Brothers" premiere in New York November 22, 2009. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri</p>