Age & Hometown: 27. New York City.
Currently: Swinging into his first Broadway show as your friendly neighborhood webslinger in Julie Taymor’s mega-musical, Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark.
His Spidey Sense: Like any kid, Carney dreamed of being a superhero. “I loved comic books and was always doing stunts. I wanted to be a cartoon artist at one point.” He even remembers drawing copies of Spider-Man comic covers and selling them at an elementary school fair. Though he still enjoys drawing, Carney followed the path of his musician parents and, by age 15, was playing guitar professionally at B.B. King’s nightclub in L.A. “It was a novelty in a way: ‘Hey, look at that kid playing the guitar,’" he says now, “but I’m so grateful, because it helped me grow as a musician and equipped me with the tools I needed to be here on Broadway and in front of an audience. I didn't want to be perceived as a musician trying to act.”
Making the Band: Carney eventually formed an eponomous band alongside his brother Zane, bass player Aiden Moore and drummer Jon Epcar, all of whom appear onstage in the Spider-Man band. “My music is very visceral,” he explains. “When I’m performing, it’s all about the intensity and passion.” While Carney is pleased to have moved into acting in Taymor's Tempest film (as Ferdinand) and now as Spidey, he admits he’ll miss traveling across the country with his band. “It’s my favorite place," he says of the road. "I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The freedom you feel when you’re out there—there’s nothing like it.” Carney adds that he's quite the prankster while touring, but is hesitant to reveal his best gag. “Let’s just say it involved a microwave, a pound and a half of Hershey’s chocolate and a pair of medium-size boxers. They still don’t know it was me.” (Sorry Reeve, secret’s out!)
Web-Master: At this point, Spider-Man's road to Broadway has become part of the national conversation. The biggest challenge for Carney? “Knowing there’s $200,000 worth of tickets sitting in the audience each night, and you still have to rehearse six or seven hours a day,” he says of the show’s intense preview period. “It’s interesting finding the balance of making the necessary changes in rehearsal, but also giving audiences the best performance possible.” Carney's affinity for his role has been key: “I wouldn’t have been drawn to this had I not already had a lot of this character’s aspects within myself. I’m always trying to please everybody and I’m a bit of an efficiency junkie, which is why I relate to the struggle between Spider-Man and Peter Parker.” Still, don't count Carney out as a rocker. "I've never been one to follow trends," he says, "so maybe I’ll start a new one—from Broadway to Madison Square Garden!"