Get to Know: Andrew Garfield Written by Caroline Gerrard
Andrew Garfield is one actor who is definitely 'super'! After winning critical acclaim for his role in the 2010 hit 'The Social Network', Andrew is web slinging his way onto the big screen again (with Emma Stone by his side) in the blockbuster 'The Amazing Spiderman'. Get to know Andrew Garfield, the actor who counts Robert Pattinson as one of his best friends!
Full Name: Andrew Russell Garfield
Birthday: August 20th, 1983
Favorite Book: 'The Catcher in the Rye'
Favorite Band: Arcade Fire
Favorite Movie: 'The Karate Kid'
Favorite Food: "An English roast, with roast lamb, roast potatoes and gravy."
You were born in the United States but raised in England. Where do you feel most at home?
Andrew: I feel equally at home in both places. I don't feel more or less either one, but enjoy having a varied cultural existence. My home is in London. My girlfriend is in LA, and I have two nationalities, so I can be either here or there, so it doesn't really matter. I'm ok with being slightly nomadic.
Growing up, did you want to be an actor?
Andrew: When I was six I thought that I wanted to be a musician, like a singer/songwriter. That’s what I romantically envisioned for myself. But in reality the experience of getting into music was just the opposite. My parents signed me up for classical guitar lessons, which made for two years of the most depressing Wednesday evenings. My teacher was this classically trained Spanish guitar guy who kind of left me cold. Instead of learning how to play the kinds of songs I wanted to play, I was learning these classical pieces. Even my teacher’s attempts to teach me some Beatles songs didn’t quite connect. So I probably rebelled against that by never touching a guitar again.
I was also into gymnastics when I was younger. I remember having a horribly traumatic experience where this fat guy sat on my back while I was doing the splits, and I was looking for my mother in the group of mothers on the sidelines, but I couldn’t find her. I remember sitting there, watching all of these kids do cartwheels- it looked terrible to me. I envisioned myself getting sick, and worried about what all of the other kids would think, and what it would be like to not have friends for the rest of my childhood. All of those thoughts were running through my head as I was searching for my mother and I couldn’t find her. But then I eventually found her, and she came to the rescue like all good mothers do. This was in the early stages of my illustrious gymnastics career. I have to say though; the first time I ever did a backflip was one of the greatest moments. It was kind of incredible. I felt superhuman for a second. I tried to carry on to achieve that again, but it takes a lot of work to feel superhuman.
What made you want to start acting?
Andrew: Acting came from me being depressed. I was a gymnast and swimmer until thirteen. Then I gave sports up and started naval gazing. I needed something to keep me afloat, so my parents suggested acting classes. I took them and a very encouraging teacher suggested I could make a career out of it. As soon as that happened, I felt some kind of purpose.
What was your first job?
Andrew: The first job that I would consider proper was when I worked at Starbucks. That was when I first moved to London from Surrey, where I was brought up, and went to drama school at Golders Green. I went up there because I thought I would move into a house on my own and be independent. I was seventeen, I thought this was a great idea. I moved into this massive, empty house and I thought I would get a job, so I walked into the Starbucks around the corner and somehow convinced them to hire me. I was actually really excited to work there. There was a very American, romanticized idea that I had in my head about what it would be like to work in a coffee shop. I thought of coffee shops as the kind of places where you met really smart, interesting, quirky girls with thick, black rimmed glasses. But it didn’t turn out that way at all. I ended up being pursued by this girl who was very cool, but she just wasn’t my type… It was a personality thing more than anything.
In an article you said that you don’t Google yourself. Why is that?
Andrew: There would be a lot of really nice people saying a lot of nice things. But then I would get to the one person who would say ‘His eyebrows look big. He ought to shave his eyebrows. He looks like a Neanderthal.’ I thought, ‘That’s so mean. I can’t help my eyebrows, dude.’
Do you feel pressure taking on a role as well known as Spiderman?
Andrew: Yes. On Halloween. Bedtimes. Tuesdays. When I was auditioning, my parents sent me a photo of me as a kid in the Spiderman costume. I gave it to my agent, and my agent slipped it to the studio as they were making their decision.
Why do you relate to the character of Spiderman so much?
Andrew: He's a human hero that goes through all of the same struggles that we all have gone through, especially the skinny ones that want more power than they feel they have. I think it's a very inspiring, aspirational character that symbolizes goodness — and how difficult it is to be good — but how worth it it is.
Before taking the role, were you nervous about the fame that comes with playing such a well known character?
Andrew: I know that deep down I just want to be an actor, I want to get to lose myself and have an audience suspend disbelief, so I did consider it. But there was a 3-year-old in me, and I couldn't strangle him, and he was just like, 'You're doing this for me. You get one life, and who am I to turn down playing one of my greatest heroes?’