Tobey Maguire: 'I Love Being a Dad'

04/21/2007 at 09:05 AM EDT

Tobey Maguire: 'I Love Being a Dad'
Maguire and Ruby
Starsurf/Splash News Online
Just like his alter ego Peter Parker, Tobey Maguire has gone through many important changes in his young life. But now, 31 years old, engaged and the father of a 6-month-old girl, his focus seems to be clearer than ever before.

"I've changed a lot over the last six years," Maguire told reporters at the Spider-Man 3 press day Friday in Los Angeles.

The biggest change of all? Being daddy to Ruby Sweetheart, his daughter with fiancée Jennifer Meyer, born in November.

"I love being a dad!" said a glowing Maguire. "I love my daughter...yeah, it's definitely amazing! It's like everybody says, all the clichés are true-it's indescribable and you just have to be there to understand it. You know, you don't really get it until you're there."

His Spider-Man 3 costar and friend Bryce Dallas Howard got a firsthand look at Maguire as a father. "Being a father was even more of a fulfillment of [Maguire's] natural instincts," she said. "And the natural way that he is in the world. And he is just... he is incredible.

"He's committed to the people around him being happy and being supported and loved," added Howard, who's also a new mom with a 9-week old baby boy, Theo. She also said that Maguire, and especially his fiancée Meyer were an inspiration during her own pregnancy.

"One of the most important people during my pregnancy was Jennifer Meyer, Tobey's fiancée," continued Howard. "She's just an incredibly mindful parent, I mean, they both are and I really wanted to follow their example in every way. So I had the same doctor as them, the same midwife as them, everything because I knew that they did their research.

"I was calling them just a few days after the birth and he [Tobey] would stay on the phone with me for like an hour talking through things with me, and when Jen couldn't talk because she was nursing. I felt like that was really very much of a gift for me and my husband."

Now with a fiancée and baby at home, Maguire has to think twice about not only choosing films but also choosing activities. "I think that the greatest affect [having a baby] will have is on what the locations of movies are, more so than what the content is, although it may affect my decisions about the content as well."

As for what's next, Maguire says he plans to finish the publicity rounds for Spider-Man, and then decide. But he does have on option. Says Maguire: "I've had many offers to show up for kid's parties."

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