After a two-year professional break to spend more time with his family, Tobey Maguire returns to the big screen by teaming up with his longtime pal Leonardo DiCaprio for director Baz Luhrmann's new 3D adaptation of novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic, The Great Gatsby, opening May 10.
"We are like any other buddies. There's a lot of laughing and chatting between us," Maguire told PEOPLE at the film's New York City premiere on Wednesday. "We enjoy doing a lot of things we have in common, like basketball. We like to play and talk about basketball."
Best friends for nearly 25 years, Maguire, 37, and DiCaprio, 38, first met in 1990 during the casting for Parenthood, a one-season TV spin-off series based on director Ron Howard's movie starring Steve Martin (before it was revived for TV – successfully – in 2010). At the time, DiCaprio landed the lead teen role, while Maguire was handed only a couple of lines.
Still, they bonded instantly and became friends. Three years later, both worked together in This Boy's Life, with Robert De Niro.
Despite being up for the same roles, their friendship survived, and today they are as close as ever.
"Leo and I have a lot of trust and respect for each other," said the former Spider-Man star, who, with his jewelry designer wife Jennifer Meyer, has two children: Ruby, 6, and Otis, nearly 4.
"We have a close friendship and I definitely have an affection for Leo," says Maguire.
As for playing the key role of narrator Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, opening May 10, "I had a blast," Maguire said.
"We were in Sydney, Australia, for just about six months and I had my family with me and I got to work on one of the great American novels with my best friend. It was great!"
As in Gatsby.
Must be nice... Only 5 more days!