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Andrew Garfield is learning life doesn't always unfold as expected.
"The good news is, all my high school friends, we're all celebrating [turning 40] together. But it's interesting – I always thought I would be the first to have kids and settle down, and they're all shacked up and a couple of kids deep, for the most part," he shared.
Garfield said he'd recently been "releasing myself from the societal obligation of procreating by the time I'm 40."
"It's more about accepting a different path than what was kind of expected of me from birth, like 'By this time you will have done this, and you will have at least one child,' that kind of thing," Garfield explained.
"I think I have some guilt around that," he added, noting, "obviously it's easier for me as a man."
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Recognizing that "life seems to be a perpetual practice of letting s--t go," Garfield admitted that having kids is "a big one [to let go of]," especially after losing his mother Lynn to pancreatic cancer in 2019.
"Because, of course, I would've loved my mom to have met my kids, if I'm going to have kids," he said. "And she will, in spirit. She'll be there for it. I know she's there, for all the big ones."
Ultimately, Garfield concluded that "life is in charge."
"We'll see what happens," he added. "I'm curious."
Garfield has previously explored feelings of fatherhood in his 2014 film 99 Homes in which he played a single dad who loses his home to foreclosure.
In September 2015, the actor told Entertainment Tonight the role made him aware of his fatherly instincts.
"I've always had them somewhere. I think all men do and all women have that motherly instinct, and it was exciting to explore that and daunting and scary," he said at the time.
He continued, "I kind of thought, 'Well, how do I do that? If I haven't experienced it, can I do it?' but then I realized that's the situation of every single father in the history of time."
"Everybody who becomes a father has never been a father before, so we're all going into this initiations totally blind and groping in the dark so I kind of went with that feeling of not knowing what the hell I was doing and it kind of helped," he added.