"I just think I've always been sensitive and had difficulty containing my feelings, and I've always searched for outlets for that, because otherwise those feelings come out in chaotic ways that aren't always great." —Andrew Garfield
Andrew Garfield may be best known as Spider-Man, but don’t let that overshadow his other roles in such films as The Social Network, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Hacksaw Ridge. Although he doesn’t look like it, Garfield will be turning 35 this year, and he already has a pretty impressive resume that he’ll likely pad a lot more before his time is done. Here are 42 facts about Andrew Garfield.
Andrew Garfield Facts
40. Act and Chill
We all need to unwind after a hard day’s work, and actors are no different. Garfield states that if he’s doing his job properly, his body should feel just as exhausted as his character’s. To get his energy back, he turns to the same thing a lot of us do: Netflix.
Garfield has received some rave reviews for his performances on screen, but he’s already taken home some hardware for his work on stage. Garfield won the Tony Award for Lead Actor for Angels in America, playing an AIDS patient during the height of the AIDS crisis in America. Garfield also dedicated his award to the LGBTQ community.
Garfield’s Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge actually makes him one of four actors born in 1980 or after to receive an Oscar nomination, along with Ryan Gosling, Eddie Redmayne, and Jesse Eisenberg.
37. Moral Support
Garfield made some headlines in pop culture news when he and Ryan Reynolds locked lips at the 2017 Golden Globes. Reynolds was nominated for Best Actor for the Musical/Comedy category and Garfield suggested that Reynolds should kiss him, instead of his wife, if he won. The original idea was that Reynolds would feint like he was going to kiss Blake Lively, and then go for Garfield instead. When Ryan Gosling won Best Actor, Garfield said they should kiss anyway.
36. No Pressure
Acting for the stage, as opposed to film, was a change for Garfield, particularly the need to continuously perform. Once filming is wrapped up for the big screen, the performance is done. With the stage, Garfield said he was challenged to continuously put on a good performance. However, Garfield embraces the medium and says “theater is my home.” He also likes theater more since it closes the distance between actors and audience. With film, the actor becomes a distant, elevated figure. There is more of a sense of community in theatre when someone can see the actor in front of them and see him mess up (though hopefully not too much).
35. The Cake Is a Lie
After winning his Tony for Angels in America, Garfield said, “Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.” Given that Garfield played a gay character, the comment is likely a reference to the Masterpiece Cakeshop v Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court ruling that backed a baker’s decision not to make a cake for a gay couple.
34. Culture Shock
Sometimes when an actor is best known for playing American characters, it can be easy not to realize that the person behind the role is actually British. Garfield was met with a wave of shock from fans on Twitter who didn’t realize he was British until they heard him speak at the 2017 Academy Awards.
33. Shade and Grace
While having lunch, Garfield was once approached by a fan who Garfield was polite enough to entertain. Garfield made a video for the fan’s son, letting the son, Ian Palmer, know that he had a “very sweet mother who doesn’t mind crossing boundaries over lunch.” The video was later posted to Twitter by Ian and quickly went viral.
32. Pass the Torch
Although Garfield was cut from Spider-Man, his professionalism ensured that he had nothing but kind words for Tom Holland, his successor. Garfield said that he was a fan of Holland’s work, and was also excited “to just be a fan again, as opposed to bearing the weight of it.” Can’t blame him for that. Now he can join in when people online inevitably say the new Spider-Man sucks.
Sign up to our newsletter.
History’s most fascinating stories and darkest secrets, delivered to your inbox daily. Making distraction rewarding since 2017.
Embodying a character sometimes requires disassociating from oneself. For his role in Angels in America, Garfield created a ritual of literally signing out of his character, and going back to his regular self. Garfield writers a letter as the character or as himself in order to sign in and out of the role.
30. Master of Disguise
Garfield met Emma Stone during the auditions for Amazing Spider Man and says they got along from the start. Despite spending months working together, Stone was surprised at his full British accent when the film was finished. Garfield kept his American accent for the duration of filming, even mostly off-camera.
Garfield developed an interest in acting during his teenage years. His first big role was in 2007’s Lions for Lambs, and proved to be a challenge, and not simply due to nerves; the character’s personality was a stark contrast to his. Garfield says he had to mentally get into the head of a character marked by apathy, while he himself is enthusiastic and curious.
28. Path Well-Travelled
Garfield’s role in Hacksaw Ridge earned him his first Oscar nomination for portraying war hero Desmond Doss. Although he didn’t win, Garfield was still appreciative of the nomination, feeling that it helped to assuage all the moments of doubt he had concerning his career, leaving him “deeply reassured that I’m on the trajectory that I’m supposed to be on.”
27. Biggest Fan
Mel Gibson’s name probably conjured up Lethal Weapon quotes at one point, but in recent years it has been more tied to scandal. Garfield was initially wary of working with Gibson, but his love for Gibson’s previous work led him to meet the man in person. Garfield said they talked about Gibson’s rough patch and he felt convinced that Gibson was a changed man. Even after filming wrapped up, Garfield called Gibson “maybe the most loving director I’ve ever worked with.”
26. Go With the Flow
Garfield has previously identified as straight. However, he also said he likes to embrace “not being in charge,” living his life with an openness to any impulses.
Garfield studied at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and became a fan of Angels in America during his studies, watching the 2003 HBO miniseries and hailing it “a master class” in film in terms of its performances, writing and directing. Fast forward, and he’s the star of the play.
24. To the Finish Line
As part of his preparation for Angels in America, Garfield began to take in RuPaul’s Drag Race, since his character also practiced drag. Garfield had some pretty rave reviews for the show, saying it might be the best thing he’s seen on TV. Garfield got to meet two of the contestants, Detox and Kim Chi, and “kind of fell deeply in love with Detox.”
23. The Other Realm
Garfield personally believes that being able to appreciate life’s complexity and uniqueness is a key part of the human experience. He also likes to paraphrase a Mayan myth that tells the story of humans being created simply because no other species could consciously celebrate beauty. He says he didn’t have much interest in academia or sports because they deprived him of that connection. It was acting that allowed him to finally open up to reality.
22. Straight Outta the Hospital
Garfield’s role in Breathe is that of an inventor who contracts polio, and Garfield believes his life has helped him to prepare for the role. Soon after birth, Garfield contracted a form of meningitis called coxsackie, which could have left him dead or disabled. Garfield believes experiences like that leave an imprint on a child, giving him “innate” knowledge of paralysis. I guess his performance will tell us if his theory holds any water.
21. Bring It on
Tom Holland may have some notoriety for being the Spider-Man who has real acrobatic skill, but Garfield isn’t too shabby either. Garfield did gymnastics growing up and showed off his back handspring on The Late Late Show’s “Hidden Talents” segment.
20. Smaller and Better
Garfield may not harbor any ill will for Holland, and this feat is probably easier given the fact that he didn’t find the Spider-Man roles as fulfilling as the roles he has done since. Garfield described his state during the films as one of tension, where he felt like he should be doing other roles, but also felt like the role had value because it was so popular.
Garfield is of the seemingly rare breed who abstains from social media. He recognizes its value as a tool for sending messages but also realizes that the online world also opens him up to a lot of “nonsense.” Garfield is still considering joining the cool kids, but he will work on his ego first, since he's not sure it can withstand all the negativity that the online world brings.
18. Sorry Salma
Shortly after hearing good news about a big audition, Garfield ended up at a party at Prince’s house, tagging along with a friend. Garfield was in line for the bathroom, with Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz behind him. He ended up puking in the bathroom (for reasons he did not reveal) but he says that puking in Prince’s toilet was the moment he knew he made it.
17. New Beginnings
Garfield isn’t big on New Year's parties, summing up his thoughts by saying “New Year's sucks.” However, he and his closest friends share a self-improvement ritual. Every year they get together and write down the things they want to rid themselves of, and then burn the paper at the top of Primrose Hill. Much better than spending too much money on a hotel room and having a night you don’t remember.
16. How Much Does a Polar Bear Weigh?
Now that Garfield is apparently single, he should probably go to his dad for some advice on talking to women. After all, his dad did ultimately marry his mother after using the opening line, “Want to see the creases in my jeans?” The two met at a party, and Garfield’s dad came with another woman. Garfield did jump to his dad’s defence, saying that the line was probably a really awkward icebreaker as opposed to a really awkward pickup line.
15. Creative Input
I remember the first trailer for Amazing Spider Man and reading complaints about Peter Parker being a skateboarder. Apparently, those haters can blame Andrew Garfield for that. Garfield convinced the director to let the character skateboard, just like Garfield did when he was a kid.
14. What Is Love?
Garfield is a skeptic when it comes to the matchmaking power of online dating. Aside from the options us commonfolk have, celebrities also have Raya, an app catering to their own ilk. However, Garfield won’t be convinced about its merit until he sees some wedding pictures or baby photos from the users. Maybe Raya needs to update its testimonials?]
13. Any Pumpkin Spice?
Before he hit it big, Garfield worked at Starbucks serving ventis, just like many hipsters who have followed in his wake. However, Garfield was actually fired from his job for sitting too much!
12. We Want You
You might not see Garfield in cologne ads much, not because execs think he’s unattractive, but because he is cautious of “serving capitalism.” Garfield read No Logo, a critique of capitalism, when he was a teen, and the book is still fresh in his mind. While Garfield loves acting, he is more wary of the endorsement side of Hollywood.
11. His Holiness
Garfield stars as a minister in 2016’s Silence. During promotion for the film, Garfield got to meet Pope Francis, who joked that Garfield should be ordained due to the level of preparation he had for his role.
10. Best of Both Worlds
Garfield is a dual American-British citizen due to his birth in California. His American father ran a lampshade business with his British mother, but the family moved to Surrey when Andrew was three.
Upon getting the role of Peter Parker, Garfield decided to Google himself. He regretted the decision once he came across the comment section of an article. There were a lot of nice comments, but one person also said, “His eyebrows look big. He ought to shave his eyebrows. He looks like a freaking Neanderthal.” Welcome to the Internet.
8. Bon Appetit
Work takes Garfield away from jolly old England for months at a time, and he says the thing he misses the most is the food back home. Garfield’s favorite meal is a Sunday roast, which consists of roast lamb, roast potatoes, and gravy. Tougher to get in America. However, Garfield has had success finding his second favorite meal, burgers, to help to alleviate the homesickness a little bit.
7. Black Mirror
Garfield is still adjusting to fame, admitting that he likes to stay out of the spotlight and realizes he doesn’t “fit in” with a lot of people in his generation. He recalls a fan filming him playing basketball once. Garfield ran over to try to convince the boy to stop filming, but he didn't even look up from the phone until Garfield was standing right in front of him. Garfield remembered being disturbed by how “dissociative” the kid was.
6. Full Circle
Garfield played Billy Casper in Kes early in his career. Garfield acknowledges that this early role was the first in a string of roles where he plays outcasts. For Garfield, these type of roles were the ones he was attracted to most as a child, and are also the roles he finds most fulfilling.
5. Stay True
One of Garfield’s favorite quotes is fromthe poet E.E. Cummings: “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight.” For Garfield, the quote is part of his philosophy that art can help us understand our place in the world.
4. Lessons Learned
We now all know that Garfield was dropped from his role as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man films and was replaced with Tom Holland, star of the Marvel films. But one of the emails leaked from the infamous Sony Hack gives some insight into how Sony was feeling about Garfield around the time of his replacement. One email discussed an event Garfield was scheduled to attend, before the actor got sick and backed out. The email read, "Here we are about one hour away from our Gala event and Andrew decides he doesn't want to attend. He has a rather scruffy beard and he just wants to be left alone." Garfield, for his part, says that he was "naive" to big studio blockbusters while acting as Spider-Man, and he had previously criticized the studio interference of the films.
3. The Struggle Is Real
Breathe marks Garfield’s first foray into playing a rich man, which is a role he would normally avoid since these characters don’t interest him as an actor. However, for Garfield, the film becomes about something more than class: “How do you live a full life of joy within such struggle?”
2. Good Terms
Garfield was in a well-publicized relationship with Emma Stone, which began in 2012. The couple are believed to have split up in 2015. The two were never public about relationship details, but Stone has said Garfield is “still someone she loves very much.” The two are still on good terms, praising each other’s work and being spotted spending time together as recently as May 2018.
1. Co-ed Experience
Garfield still remembers the name of the girl he shared his first kiss with, Amy Frances. The memory is still burned in his brain since the kiss took place at a house party when he was 12 or 13 where just about all of the attendees made out with each other. As he said, “it was about five hours of everyone going, "Have we made out yet? No?" His school was much different than mine I guess.