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Student Blog: The Year of Andrew Garfield


Reflecting on Andrew Garfield's work in 2021 and his portrayal of Jonathan Larson.

Student Blog: The Year of Andrew Garfield Andrew Garfield has always been an actor I admired for his dedication to every character he plays and appreciation for both theatre and film. Through each work, he shows how large his range as an actor is and what he values in art. A few of my favorite projects he has done are The Amazing Spider-Man movies, tick, tick... BOOM!, and Angels in America. All three of these movies/plays were challenging and included characters with unique sets of mannerisms. From the blockbuster Marvel franchise to the epic gay fantasia written by Tony Kushner, Andrew Garfield has proved his passion and devotion to storytelling.

Specifically with tick, tick... BOOM!, I was extremely impressed with his raw approach to the character and the vulnerability he showed throughout the film. The genuine fear he displayed over losing his friends and losing his youth gave me chills and these were the same qualities I saw when sitting in the balcony of Angels in America. Whether it's the stage or screen, he knows how to tug at the emotions of his audience members.

With tick, tick... BOOM! specifically, I left that film thinking about how I can make take advantage of each moment of my life and not take anything for granted. A large part of this film is about theatre and sharing stories that are close to our hearts. For example, throughout the movie, the audience sees how there are connections between Jonathon Larson's life and what he chose to write about in the hit musical Rent which did not premiere until after Larson's death. Garfield poured his heart out into the role of Jonathon Larson and did the late musical theatre writer justice. Something also has to be said about the fact that Andrew Garfield did not have any formal experience with singing before this movie. He dedicated time to learning vocal technique and music theory so that he could fully immerse himself in this role as he has done with films such as Hacksaw Ridge.

Student Blog: The Year of Andrew Garfield
Time, grief, and love are the main themes in tick, tick... BOOM! Andrew Garfield talks about his personal connection with this film and the story in one interview with Stephen Colbert. In the interview, he gets emotional when talking about the recent death of his mom which happened while he was filming tick, tick... BOOM! In speaking on grief that he had about his mom's passing, he confessed, "I hope this grief stays with me, because it is all the unexpressed love that I didn't get to tell her."

This speaks volumes to how he views Jonathon Larson and how he views the story of tick, tick... BOOM! Especially in songs such as Why and Louder than Words his personal connection to the material shines through and makes the story that much more believable and human. I have always been impressed with Andrew Garfield as an actor and watching him devote so much to this iconic character reminded me how much power he has and how much power Jonathon Larson had at such a young age. There is so much about storytelling that is about our own lives which both Larson and Garfield have in common. It'll be hard to top his performances in 2021, but I'm excited to see what's next for Andrew Garfield in 2022.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Mia Van Deloo