Tobey Maguire's reputation for being a strict vegan has apparently yet to make it to Australia. The 36-year-old is in the country filming Baz Luhrmann's take on "The Great Gatsby" and, like any other star, received a complimentary Mercedes to enjoy while in residence.
Unfortunately, the luxury vehicle came with leather seats, which is the last thing to give a vegan who embraces the lifestyle, not just the diet. News.com.au says Maguire kindly returned the vehicle to the film's production staff who then returned it to the dealership and asked for a vinyl seat replacement.
“I’ve never had any desire to eat meat. In fact, when I was a kid I would have a really difficult time eating meat at all. It had to be the perfect bite, with no fat or gristle or bone or anything like that. I don’t judge people who eat meat — that’s not for me to say — but the whole thing just sort of bums me out.”
In a 2008 interview, actress Natalie Portman credited Maguire with making her switch from a vegetarian diet to a vegan one. "I was around Tobey Maguire in rehearsals [for the film "Brothers"] and he’s vegan and I was, like, this is nice," she said. "I’m honest about caring about animals. You know, eggs and milk products, there’s a lot of animal discomfort in that, too. I don’t know if it’s a permanent thing."
One year later, after reading Jonathan Safran Foer's book "Eating Animals," Portman declared she was joining Maguire as a full-time vegan. "This book reminded me that some things are just wrong," she wrote. "Perhaps others disagree with me that animals have personalities, but the highly documented torture of animals is unacceptable, and the human cost Foer describes in his book, of which I was previously unaware, is universally compelling."