You don’t have to be a Marvel fan to recognize Andrew Garfield.
The British-American actor has graced screen and stage since the early 2000s, and earned himself nominations for Oscars, Golden Globes, and BAFTAs. Pop culture fans might also know him for his famous ex-girlfriend, or that kiss.
However you know the name, we’ve rounded up 11 fascinating facts that even Garfield’s biggest fans might not have known.
Andrew Garfield: 11 cool facts about the two-time Spider-Man
1. His real accent surprised his fans (and Emma Stone!)
Fans who were used to hearing Garfield speak with an American accent were stunned when he spoke with his real British accent at the 2017 Academy Awards. And they weren’t alone. His former girlfriend, Spider-man actress Emma Stone, explained that he spoke with his character accent throughout filming of the smash hit. When filming finished, she realized he didn’t actually speak that way.
Although Garfield was born in L.A., his mother is from Essex, England. Both sets of grandparents are also from the U.K. When Andrew was three years old, his family moved back to the U.K. and stayed there until he was an adult, an interesting fact about Andrew Garfield.
Andrew’s family are Jewish—although he refers to himself as ‘agnostic pantheist’—and his family traces its roots back to Poland, Russia, and Romania.
2. He almost went the white-collar route.
Garfield had originally planned on studying business. His brother is a doctor, and his parents run an interior design business. His father is also the head coach of the Guildford City Swimming club. As a child, Garfield was a gymnast and swimmer.
The acting bug bit him at sixteen, and he ended up training at the Central School of Speech and Drama at the University of London.
3. He has won a Tony Award.
Andrew has starred in over 20 movies so far—and one of them scored him a Tony. He’s been nominated for an Oscar, two Golden Globes, and two BAFTAs.
As well as his performances in Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network, and Never Let Me Go, Andrew’s movie credits stretch back almost 15 years. In 2005 he starred in two films: Sugar Rush and Swinging.
When Garfield won his Tony—for Lead Actor in Angels in America—he dedicated his award to the LGBTQ community. In the film, he played an AIDS patient at the height of the U.S. AIDS crisis.
4. He’s a RuPaul fan.
As part of Garfield’s research for his role in Angels in America, he started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race. Since Andrew’s character would also be dressing in drag, he wanted to understand more about the art. In an interview following the movie’s release, he said Drag Race may be “the best thing I’ve seen on TV.”
Andrew met two of the show’s contestants—Kim Chi and Detox—and says he “fell deeply in love” with Detox.
5. He is a very private person.
Andrew Garfield is happy to give open interviews about his work, but keeps his personal life to himself. So much so that when his relationship with his Amazing Spider-Man co-star ended, the pair never addressed speculation or released a public statement, a well-known fact about Andrew Garfield.
When he was asked about his sexual orientation in an interview, he said that he identified as heterosexual, but that he was open to impulses “that may arise within me.”
6. He loves treading the stage.
Andrew Garfield enjoyed the challenge of constantly putting on a good performance on stage—as opposed to filming movies. With movies, he noted, you did one good performance and then filming wrapped.
He enjoyed the change, and claimed theater as his home. He was also happy to be so close to the audience, which was a very different feeling to being a distant, elevated character on-screen. Garfield thrived in the sense of community theater offered, and like the realness of the medium.
7. His Spider-Man costume made him emotional.
An interesting fact about Andrew Garfield is that he became emotional when he first put on the Spidey suit. Growing up in the Marvel era, he had worshipped the superhero as a child. Being able to play one of his idols on the big screen had a big impact on the seasoned actor.
Andrew played the classic character in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, and its sequel in 2014, before the role was given to Tom Holland.
8. He is gracious.
When Tom Holland succeeded Garfield in the Spider-Man role, Garfield had nothing but positive words for the younger actor. He was happy to pass the torch, and praised Holland’s previous work.
9. He’s just like the rest of us.
At the end of a long day, it turns out that famous actors are no different than the rest of us when it comes to unwinding. Garfield explained in an interview that if he’s doing his job properly, he will be exhausted. To unwind and recharge, he catches up on Netflix watch list, an interesting Andrew Garfield fact.
10. He’s in good company.
When Andrew was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge, he became one of only four actors born in or after 1980 to do so.
His role as the conscientious objector and war hero added him to a list that includes only Ryan Gosling, Eddie Redmayne, and Jesse Eisenberg.
Garfield’s portrayal also saw him nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA.
11. He did what many female fans have dreamed of.
At the 2017 Golden Globe Awards ceremony, he kissed Ryan Reynolds. Garfield joked to Reynolds, who was nominated for a Best Actor award, that if Reynolds won he should kiss him instead of his wife, Blake Lively.
Originally, the two decided that Reynolds would move to kiss Lively, and then kiss Garfield at the last minute. When Ryan Gosling won the Best Actor award, they decided to kiss anyway. The prank made pop culture headlines.
It’s impossible to pigeon-hole Andrew Garfield into just one type of role. He’s played a superhero, a conscientious objector, an AIDS patient, and a peeping Tom, among his many other roles. Who knows where he will go next?
So there you have it—11 things you didn’t know about our two-time Spider-Man and award winning actor.
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