Speaking beside Saudi producer and CEO of the Red Sea Film Foundation Mohammed Al Turki, Andrew Garfield discussed his professional trajectory with a packed house of Spider-Man fans at the Red Sea Film Festival on Thursday. Since Garfield starred in Ramin Bahrani’s 2014 drama “99 Homes,” which Al Turki produced, the two have been acquainted. “I’m currently out of work,” remarks Garfield. “So I’m just here to talk to Mo really.” “I’m 40 years old now and I still get absolutely petrified,” Garfield stated. “I have terrible impostor syndrome. I didn’t know it was a viable option to be an actor. I loved being an athlete. I hated school. I wasn’t strong enough to be a rugby player. It was my mother who suggested I look at doing something creative.”
Speaking as part of a British colonization of creativity that also included Jamie Dornan, Robert Pattinson, Tom Sturridge, and Charlie Cox, Garfield discussed his career, starting at the age of 21 with a Doritos ad and continuing through his early days in Hollywood. “Sharing shrimp tacos, like half each,” Garfield recounted.”Going out and having one drink between us all.” The difficult period was not prolonged, as Garfield quickly discovered himself on a movie set for the first time, costarring with director Robert Redford in a significant role.
Garfield talked about some of the actual-life individuals he has portrayed, including Jonathan Larson, the playwright of “Rent,” who passed away the night before the first screening at the young age of 36 from an aortic aneurysm. Larson was portrayed by Lin-Manuel Miranda in “Tick, Tick Boom.” Garfield remarked, “There was something very surreal that I felt was happening” and revealed that he was tormented by the role he was portraying. “I believe our ancestors are very close all the time. And I could feel that his spirit was so excited that we were going to be telling the story that he didn’t let me sleep. He didn’t let me rest. He had ideas. Nonstop. He wanted me to give notes to Lin-Manuel Miranda about the end of the film.” According to Garfield, Larson was “someone who did superhuman acts during the Second World War, physically impossible acts saved an impossible amount of lives doing God’s work,” much like the pacifist Desmond Dawson he portrayed in Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge.”
The character that many viewers will remember Garfield for the longest is Spider-Man, whom he originally portrayed in Marc Webb’s 2012 film “The Amazing Spider-Man.” “I’ve loved Spider-Man since I was three years old,” remarked Garfield, reminiscing about his Halloween outfit as a three-year-old. “I was in the gym a lot. I ate soup and berries. I trained at Parkour and yoga. I helped with the script. I need to nourish that child who is out there watching.”
The film “Spider-Man: Homecoming” gave Garfield the chance to wrap up his storyline with the character. “I think until all three of us were in the room rehearsing, figuring out what we were going to do, there was no way of writing it. Every single one of us had our own version of that character and we didn’t know how they were going to interact, until they were actually interacting in the room together. So it was as if you were making a low-budget short film with friends. And it was the biggest movie in the history of movies.”