- Golden Globe Awards
Winners Circle 2022: Nominee Profile 2022: Andrew Garfield, “tick, tick…BOOM!”
Reflecting on playing Jonathan Larson in tick, tick… BOOM!, Andrew Garfield shared while doing press for the film how the late playwright’s story affected him and how he lives his life.
“We all leave here with an unfinished song. And I don’t think we think about that enough,” the now three-time Golden Globe nominee said, his latest nomination for this role in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category.
“I think it’s healthy to know that we are only here for a short amount of time. With that awareness comes a lot more meaning in terms of how we move through life, how we connect with ourselves, with other people, with our work, with our purpose. We may even start thinking about the idea of purpose for the first time ever. Our soul’s purpose. And I think it’s just a beautiful thing to be aware of. It’s a painful thing to be aware of, but with that comes a lot of beauty. So, for me, I think that’s one of the great things about this film. I find that really moving.”
Born in Los Angeles, California on August 20, 1983, and raised in England, the actor’s first Golden Globe nomination was for his memorable supporting performance as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in 2010s The Social Network. He was honored again in 2017 as a lead performance nominee in Hacksaw Ridge.
His first movie was Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs in 2007 where he co-starred with Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep. In the same year, he appeared in Boy A, released as a TV movie in the United Kingdom, for which he won Best Actor at the BAFTA TV Awards.
Garfield is the first to admit that he’s very picky with his roles and carefully chooses his projects.
He starred with Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley in Never Let Me Go (2010) from the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. He donned the superhero suit and acted opposite Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and the sequel in 2014. Garfield also acted with Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (2015), played a World War II hero in Hacksaw Ridge (2016) directed by Mel Gibson, and was a Jesuit priest in 17th century Japan in Silence (2016) by Martin Scorsese. He portrayed Robin Cavendish in Breathe (2017) directed by Andy Serkis and played Jim Bakker in The Eyes of Tammy Faye (2021) with Jessica Chastain.
“If I can carry on living this way and making things that I love if a hundred people see them if a thousand people see them, it doesn’t really matter to me. I’m really just kind of devoted to art and to creativity and to storytelling that I find to be meaningful. If I can do that for the rest of my life. I’ll be very, very happy,” he shared.
For tick, tick… BOOM! he relished the chance to extend Jonathan Larson’s life through the movie.
“I really wanted Jon to move through me. I really wanted Jon to use me as a channel to follow his impulses so that he could have more life so that his music and his songs and his essence and his soul can touch as many people as possible. That felt like a great privilege to me,” the actor said.
Collaborating with Lin-Manuel Miranda (in his directorial debut, no less) was also a dream come true for Garfield.
“I think that is what the job was: neither me nor Lin wanted to be haunted by the ghost of Jonathan Larson saying, ‘Why did you screw my story up?’” Garfield said, smiling widely while reflecting on the most challenging aspects of making the movie, which is incidentally one of many Hollywood productions that had to contend with the added difficulty of filming in the middle of the pandemic.
“That was really the driving force. And what was the most beautiful and hardest part was that we had this huge responsibility to Jon, and not only to Jon but to anyone who has experienced the same thing that Jon has experienced. Which is rejection, failure, and then recommitting to your dream.”