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Andrew Garfield on the 'most beautiful and hardest part' about playing Jonathan Larson

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Dec 30 2021 05:35 PM | Updated as of Dec 31 2021 02:23 PM

Andrew Garfield has been picking up honors including nods from Critics Choice, Hollywood Critics Association, and his third Golden Globe nomination for what many are calling his career-best performance in 'tick, tick, BOOM!.'

Andrew Garfield in 'tick, tick... BOOM!' Photo courtesy: Netflix
Andrew Garfield in 'tick, tick... BOOM!' Photo courtesy: Netflix

To play Jonathan Larson, the late composer and playwright who also created the musical 'Rent' before his untimely passing, Garfield learned not only how to sing but also to embody Larson’s passions and struggles as an artist.

'Tick, tick, BOOM!' was directed by another Broadway legend Lin-Manuel Miranda. Garfield says incorporating Miranda in his portrayal of Larson was not a conscious decision. "I'm sure just by being around Lin and Lin being my director and loving Lin and feeling so much for Jonathan Larson in Lin; and of course, I think some of Lin probably seeped into me as well in a really beautiful way. I love that. I love that idea," Garfield says.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield. Photo courtesy: Netflix
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield. Photo courtesy: Netflix

The film asks the big questions: What do you do with your life, and how do you want to spend the time you have left on earth?

Garfield shares how the movie's theme hit him personally. "We all leave here with an unfinished song. 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 think it's one of the things that allows this film to transcend just being a film that people enjoy and actually will affect them in the way that they move through the world. I find that really moving."

Garfield also reveals the most beautiful and hardest part about playing Larson.

"Neither me nor Lin wanted to be haunted by the ghost of Jonathan Larson saying ‘Why did you screw my story up?’ So that was really the driving force. And that 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."

Garfield’s next projects include a mini-series where he worked with Filipina filmmaker Isabel Sandoval, and plays a man of faith.

"I love her she's incredible. She shot an episode of Under the Banner of Heaven. She was so precise, so sensitive, so professional, so talented, and astute, and I really, really enjoyed her as a director," Garfield says of Sandoval.

'Tick, tick... BOOM!' is now out on Netflix.

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