Date of Birth
20 December 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA
Andrew Russell Garfield
5' 10Â½" (1.79 m)
Andrew Russell Garfield was born in Los Angeles, California, to a British-born mother, Lynn (Hillman), and an American-born father, Richard Garfield. When he was three, he moved to Surrey, U.K., with his parents and older brother. He is of English and Polish-Jewish heritage. Andrew was raised in a middle class family, and attended a private school, the City of London Freemen's School. He began acting in youth theatre productions while he was still at school. At age 19, he went to the Central School of Speech and Drama.
His first professional roles were on the stage and in 2005 he made his TV debut in the Channel 4 teen series Sugar Rush (2005) in the UK. More TV work followed (reaching a wider UK audience in a two-part story in the third season of Doctor Who (2005)), as well as a number of movie appearances. Garfield played Eduardo in The Social Network (2010) and Tommy in Never Let Me Go (2010), two films that brought him to full international attention. That same year, he was cast as the title character in the reboot of the Spider-Man film franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). He reprised the role in the sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), before passing off the torch to Tom Holland.
Resuming his work in drama films, Garfield starred in Ramin Bahrani's 99 Homes (2014), with Michael Shannon, Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge (2016), about real-life Seventh Day Adventist war hero Desmond Doss, and Martin Scorsese's Silence (2016), opposite Adam Driver, playing Jesuit priests.
His upcoming films include the Andy Serkis-directed drama Breathe (2017), where Garfield plays an adventurous man paralyzed by polio, and David Robert Mitchell's noir thriller Under the Silver Lake (2017).
His father was born in Los Angeles, to British-born parents, and his mother is British-born. Andrew was also born in Los Angeles, and moved to England at the age of three. He was brought up in Epsom, Surrey.
Won the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer at the 2006 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Shared the 2007 London Theatre Critics Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award with Connie Fisher.
Won the 2004 Manchester Evening News Most Promising Newcomer Theatre Award for his performance in "Kes" at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.
Trained at the Central School of Speech & Drama, graduating in 2004.
2008: Named as one of European films' Shooting Stars by the European Film Promotion Board.
One of Variety Magazine's '10 Actors to Watch' (2007).
Very good friends with The Social Network (2010) co-star, Jesse Eisenberg.
Was in a relationship with Shannon Woodward from 2008-2011.
Was in a relationship with Emma Stone from 2011 to October 2015. They met while filming The Amazing Spider-Man (2012).
He was a huge fan of Spider-Man long before playing the part. He has said in interviews that Spider-Man was his hero growing up.
He is close friends with Robert Pattinson and Matt Smith, whom he has known since they started acting.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2007 quickly became friends with Katy Perry, Shannon Woodward, Bo Barrett and Mia Moretti.
Andrew's paternal grandfather, Samuel Garfinkel, was born in London, to Sarah and Harry Garfinkel, who were Polish Jewish immigrants; Samuel later changed the surname to "Garfield". Andrew's paternal grandmother, Doris May (Savage), also born in London, was of Russian Jewish and Romanian Jewish descent. Andrew's mother is the daughter of Peter Hillman and Florence A. Luckens, and is of English background. Andrew was raised in a secular household, though he has described himself as Jewish. In terms of his religious beliefs, he has also said, "I would consider myself pantheist, agnostic and occasionally atheist and a little bit Jewish.".
Split with Emma Stone (October, 2015).
Counts In the Name of the Father (1993) as a harrowing and unforgettable film that made him cry.
His father is a swimming coach and his mother is a nursery school assistant.
Tall, slender frame
I'm very neurotic and self-conscious. So I think that I'll know when I'm becoming a dick and believing my own press.
Obviously there's something very seductive about movies, which can be attractive in a bad way if you're doing them for the wrong reasons - for money, or for fame. I hope I won't ever do that. I don't feel at home in LA, I feel like I'm on holiday. It's nice to dip your feet in occasionally, but I think it's probably quite unhealthy to spend too much time there at once.
I hope that I have to audition for every single job I want. I hope that I'm always struggling, really. You develop when you're struggling. When you're struggling, you get stronger.
I think too much. Being in my body is much more satisfying than being in my head.
[on Hollywood parties/events] - Those events that look like so much fun in the photos you see-it's mostly people looking over their shoulders at everyone. They're miserable, those parties.
[on playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man] - I see it as a massive challenge in many ways. To make it authentic. To make the character live and breathe in a new way. The audience already has a relationship with many different incarnations of the character. I do, as well. I'm probably going to be the guy in the movie theater shouting abuse at myself. But I have to let that go. No turning back. And I wouldn't want to.
[on having to work out for his role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man] - I want to feel stronger than I've ever felt, and I want to feel more flexible than I've ever felt. I want to feel powerful. You don't just want to be a pack of meat-it has to be an open body. It does something to your psyche, and it does something to the way you move.
[on not expecting to get the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man and then how he felt when he found out he got it] - I was genuinely expecting 'You're just a shit actor' instead of 'We want you to do it.'... I realized immediately how much hard work it was going to be, and how much of a minefield it was going to be in terms of all the shit that comes with it. Stuff that I would like to not have any part of. I mean visibility and being recognized walking down the street. I'm holding out a naive and ignorant hope that it won't happen.I couldn't gag the 5-year-old self inside of me. I said, 'What should we do?' And he was like, - [at this point Andrew slips into an accent] - 'DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! DO IT! Are you fuckin' kiddin' me? It's Spider-Man!' My inner 5-year-old is a New Yorker with a smoker's cough and a horrible mouth.
[on filming the scene in The Social Network (2010), in which his character, "Eduardo Saverin", loses his cool and lashes out both physically and verbally at "Mark Zuckerberg", played by Jesse Eisenberg] - Are you kidding me? That day and night of shooting was one of my favorite experiences. I was actually proud of myself because I didn't care what I was doing. I was literally not judging myself. And it was so fucking beautiful for a second. I've gone through my whole life caring deeply what people think of me. That was probably one of the first times where I didn't care for a second. And it was liberating. I felt more like a man than I've ever felt.... That's what always excited me about other people's performances. Abandon.
[on not watching movies that he's in] - If I watch myself, then I suddenly have a bunch of things that I'm scared to do. It just upsets me. I've stopped reading reviews, as well. If one is negative, you hold on to that. It was killing me. It was holding me back from being creative and being free.... The first thing that was written was, [on the subject of blogs and message boards] - 'What's up with this kid's eyebrows? He looks like a friggin' Neanderthal.'
I hope this period doesn't end. I hope I never blow up. I hope that I have to audition for every single job I want. I hope that I'm always struggling, really. You develop when you're struggling. When you're struggling, you get stronger.
The actors that excite me and inspire me are not selfish actors, they do it with purpose. They create characters and tell stories with purpose and generosity for an audience. It's all to serve a story and the themes of the story. That's what excites me. I look at Daniel Day-Lewis, the detail of his performances and how lived in they are. He truly experiences every character's reality that he steps into, that inspires me as well. The potential for exploring aspects of yourself that have been covered up for years or aspects of yourself you didn't realize you had. To step into someone else's shoes like Daniel Day-Lewis does so fully or like DeNiro does so fully.
[on where his guilt complex comes from] Being Jewish and, yes, I'm sure it stems from being privileged. I was brought up in a middle class home. I went to private school. And I was always very aware of me not earning that.
[on performing the role of Biff in 'Death of a Salesman' on Broadway] The repetition of going through trauma every night onstage is a killer. Your body doesn't know it's not real, even if your mind does. So your body is in a lot of pain, and your heart is in a lot of pain, but it's worth it. I will always think about that theater experience, and it will be very close to me.
[on playing Spider-Man] I was just so invigorated and challenged and joyous about it. I was all bruised up and scratched up and it felt really good. Throwing myself against walls, which is incredibly exciting and painful and manhood-testing. It was so much fun.
Whenever I'm not on stage I wanna watch reality television... I wanna watch, like, The Voice or The Bachelor... Don't be surprised by that -- it's the greatest show on TV!
I don't mind the Jesus parallel for Spider-Man. Jesus is an awesome guy. Whether he was real or fake, he did some really sick stuff. When Pontius Pilate said: "They say you're the son of God. If you're the son of God, tell me." Jesus was like: "I know who I am, bitch." I don't know if he said "bitch". Maybe he didn't curse up Pontius Pilate. But that was a cool thing. Peter is not that evolved. Peter wants to tell the world he's a good guy: "Like me: I'm nice." He's a 19-year-old kid. He's a kid struggling with being misunderstood. We've all been misunderstood. That's universal too. I like being Peter.
Spider-Man is neurotic. Peter Parker is not a simple dude. He can't just switch off... He never feels like he's doing enough. And Peter suffers from self-doubt. He ums and ahs about his future because he's neurotic. He's Jewish. It's a defining feature.
[on the The Amazing Spider-Man 2] I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it.
[on the The Amazing Spider-Man 2] For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it-because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, 'No, that doesn't work,' then the thread is broken, and it's hard to go with the flow of the story. Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they're the tent poles, so you have to answer to those people.
[on his religious upbringing] ...My father is Jewish and that side of my family is Jewish, but he's nonpracticing and left the faith as a young boy, of his own volition. My mom is a kind of pantheist, and my father became an atheist but I think he's now coming around to some kind of higher power... I was raised with all this space around me, spiritually speaking. And that has really continued, but what it engendered in me is a great deep hunger for answers, and I've been a spiritual seeker since I was a kid. I was always fascinated with people like Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus, and John Lennon and Martin Luther King.
[on working with Mel Gibson] He's incredibly instinctive and emotional - all blood and guts, nerve endings, viscera and muscle. Simultaneously, he's got a tremendous intellect.
Hopefully we're dying on the cross every day and being resurrected in a truer way every day. That's the idea for me - the old self being shed in order for the truer self to emerge.
[on choosing to play Desmond Doss in 'Hacksaw Ridge'] I sat with Mel and talked at length about it, and my only concern was: I don't want to do this film if the message is , 'Christianity is the only way'. And he agreed. It was vital to me that we communicated that Desmond's faith was deeper than any dogma, deeper than any set of man-made rules, but that he was in touch with a deep knowledge in his bones, as opposed to any ideology.