In the film, Spidey's alter-ego, Peter Parker, is romantically linked to his classmate, Gwen Stacy. Leary plays her law-enforcing father, even if his family didn't believe he was in the Spider-Man movie with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
"I don't think they thought I was really in the movie until they came to the set and saw Andrew and Emma, and they were like 'Oh, this is real, he's really in this movie,'" Leary said.
For the first time in a long time, Leary's kids thought he was cool again, he said. "The last time they thought I was cool was the first 'Ice Age' movie when they were small, but now they are all grown up so everything's embarrassing," he said.
Leary was impressed with the film's director, Marc Webb, who was interested in more than just the spectacle of the big-budget adventure.
"He would also be about motivation, character arcs and moments like even in the midst of a big action sequence, he'd spend a lot of time talking about these acting moments that we had to have, so he was making like a small independent movie that ended up being a gigantic summer blockbuster," Leary said. "It's not usually like that on action movies."
Superhero movies tend to get a lot of attention for the stars in them. But Leary is not leery about his life changing one bit.
"I know where I can go, I know where I can't go, and fortunately it doesn't bother me and no one really knows where I live, which is great," he said. "No one really wants to know what I'm wearing and what I'm doing because I'm pretty boring."
"The Amazing Spider-Man" also stars Sally Field, Martin Sheen and Rhys Ifans. It's in theaters Wednesday, runs 2 hours and 16 minutes and it's rated PG-13.