Two years after Garfield’s breakout turn in “The Social Network,” the actor played Peter Parker in the 2012 franchise reboot. Garfield was 26 and determined to balance theatre roles with the superhero part.
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“I’m like, ‘Fuck, that was a lot to take on. It’s a shit ton to take on,'” Garfield recalled to British GQ. “And I wanted to take it on. I was ready. I was so up for it. It didn’t feel heavy. But I think there were elements that felt very…I sensed danger for myself, in terms of fame and exposure.”
Garfield continued, “Even as I took [‘The Amazing Spider-Man’] on, I was like, ‘I want make sure I get to do “Angels in America” and “Death of a Salesman” in a few years’ time. I want be a theatre actor first, because that feels evergreen.’ If I can do theatre for the rest of my life to an audience of 50 people a night, I know that my life is going to be satisfying. That’s not me being glib – I really know that.”
Garfield was nominated for a Tony Award for his turn in “Death of a Salesman” in 2012, the same year “The Amazing Spider-Man” premiered. Its sequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” debuted in 2014 before Garfield exited the role. Garfield called parting ways with Spider-Man before finishing his slated trilogy “heartbreaking.”
He reprised the character for 2021’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” opposite original live-action Spider-Man Tobey Maguire and current MCU staple Tom Holland.
Since 2014, Garfield has garnered two Academy Award nominations, an Emmy nod, and a 2018 Tony Award for “Angels in America,” the role that Garfield credits as a turning point in his career.
“It’s that eternal struggle between being devoted to the invisible world, the world of spirit, the world of imagination, creativity, what we know we’re meant to do. But if we were purely devoted to that, it would be much harder for us to put a roof over our heads. So how do we balance that?” Garfield said. “We’re living through a capitalistic period in the history of humanity. And it’s deeply disgusting and horrific and ugly and all those things, as well as beautiful. It’s a fascinating time to be alive. And how do artists – how does anyone, because everyone is an artist – really retain that connection to soul, to spirit, to the unseen, to the thing that really pulls us?”
The “Silence” star added, “I mean, those are the moments – whether it’s Fincher or Scorsese, or Tony Kushner, or Mike Nichols, whoever. It feels like you’re being blessed by a high priest of the art. I think we all need that, in whatever we’re doing. We need blessings from elders, from the ones that have found their place.”
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