Audience: Did you recently mention that you accepted Spider-Man because you were broke?
Andrew Garfield: It’s true ! I was 24 years old. I fought. I no longer wanted to relive that period when, at 17-18, I was shooting commercials in Spain. In those years I did a lot of things that I didn’t like and that didn’t bring me a penny. I worked in a supermarket on the outskirts of London. I worked as an assistant to a … cricket teacher! I was a Starbucks server. I have a very bad memory of that period when, to fill the fridge, I also did telemarketing in a marketing company. Hell. Not only did this job not suit me, it was also right at the moment when I had just broken up with my first love. I can see myself hiding in the toilet, just to sit and cry.
And Spider-Man has arrived …
When I was offered to play Spidey I probably had to sign without reading the script, I was in so much trouble! This role, I needed it. The first Halloween costume my mom made me when I was 3 was for this superhero. So it was also a sign for me. A sign and a great change of life.
“Confined, in the evening I cried while calling my family on video”
This hero that you embodied from 2012 to 2014, what brought you?
An obvious notoriety but there were less fun aspects. When I played Spider-Man, I wanted to delve into the mythology of the character I have genuinely loved since childhood. I had proposed playing a more questioning Peter Parker. But there was a lot of money to be made for the studio that wanted a different film than the one I had in mind. I found that the final cut did not reflect my work. I had a real hope that young people could identify with this franchise, and not just a commercial product. I had to fight a lot for my freedom during the production of these films. got me in trouble because sometimes I said things I shouldn’t have said. And then there was obviously the success, the popularity, the loss of boundaries between my public and private life, the permanent representation … After Spider-Man, I set myself limits.
“Ado, I was very shy. I looked at my shoes”
Can we see you on Netflix in Tick, Tick… Boom !, a film whose shooting was marked by a serious loss for you?
Just eight days after filming began in November 2019, my mother died of pancreatic cancer in London. My film was shot in New York. And around the same time, Covid broke out in China. The months that followed were very difficult. I spent the beginning of 2020 confined to Manhattan, away from my father and my older brother. I was alone in my apartment and was watching The West Wing series over and over again. In the evening I cried and connected on video with my family, confined to Europe.
Was it your father who gave you the love of cinema?
My father is a movie buff. He always has been. He likes all kinds of movies. Including those with Steven Seagal! I have been introduced to a wide range of cultures. My mother, on the other hand, was 100% English. She came from a working class background and was quite versed in music, poetry, nature and art. When I was 12, my dad went bankrupt, so he was at home watching movies nonstop.
What teenager were you?
I was very shy. I looked at my shoes.
You said one day that you were still divided between two countries, two countries, two different mentalities …
I was born in Los Angeles! From an American father and an English mother. When I was 2 and a half years old, my mother said to my father: “Let’s go home!” obviously in the UK. She then she clarified to my father: “Either come with us or without us. I want to be able to raise our children close to the grandparents.” So I was raised in the UK by my parents. Hollywood is a strange place for me. I often feel like a fish out of water in this industry. But when I am in my beautiful home in California, I cannot help but tell myself that I am a very lucky person who was conceived in a Holiday Inn in New York! (Laughs.) It must have been a very hot summer night, my dad Richard Garfield must have probably drunk too much!
I also thought I realized you weren’t someone who likes social outings …
I hate social events. The first, I go there only if I have no choice. Charity gala, the defense cause must really be worth it. There are actors and actresses who are attracted to sunlight and cameras, I’m the other way around.
Does it seem like at some point in your life, you put your career on hold?
Yes, in 2018 I chose not to work, not to go on tour. For six months I decided to take part in a training camp with 90 diehard boys who couldn’t care less about my fame. It gave my life meaning. I finally realized that having a spiritual approach prevailed over everything! My mother’s death opened my eyes and revealed only this belief. Since then I have had a keen awareness of the ephemeral nature of things.
1. 20 August 1983
He was born in Los Angeles to an English mother and an American father. Very quickly, his family moved to Great Britain in the Surrey region.
He takes over from Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man for three episodes. The last one, crushed by the critics, will be a failure.
3. February 28, 2022
After being Emma Stone’s boyfriend until 2015, he now lives with model Alyssa Miller.
4. March 2022
He is nominated for an Oscar in the Best Actor category for his role in the biopic Tick, tick … Boom! (Netflix) He plays the songwriter of the musical Rent, who passed away in 1996.
see also: Andrew Garfield: Completely Stone, spends a crazy day at Disney with his darling
Interview by Frank Rousseau, in Los Angeles