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How Andrew Garfield's "Deeply Moving" SAG Awards Nomination Celebrates the Life of Jonathan Larson

Andrew Garfield spoke to E! News about his SAG Award nomination for his portrayal of Jonathan Larson in Netflix's Tick, Tick... Boom.

By Cydney Contreras Jan 12, 2022 7:59 PMTags
Watch: 2021 SAG Awards: By the Numbers

Andrew Garfield is filled with gratitude after being nominated for a SAG Award.

The Tick, Tick... Boom star spoke to E! News about his nomination on Wednesday, Jan. 12 for his portrayal of late playwright Jonathan Larson. "This is the SAG Awards honoring him and his life and what he stood for," Andrew said, "how he lived his devotion to the art of theater and storytelling."

"What he sang about was his artist community, who were all at that time going through this terrible AIDS epidemic and the terrible injustice of the Reagan administration and the tragedy that was befalling this community of artists in New York City and around the world," Andrew continued. "He was a generous, advocate [and] revolutionary artist, so I feel like this nomination is really just another another way of giving Jon more life. And I find more and more breath to sing more of his song while he can't and I find that deeply moving."

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And while the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed film is about the life and loss of Jonathan—who wrote the Broadway smash Rent but died suddenly at 35 before he could see its success—it's also about grief and what people can learn from accepting that every person will one day die.

Macall Polay/NETFLIX

"One of the big experiences that Jonathan goes through in this film is an awareness and a kind of acceptance of loss," Andrew explained. "And, you know, awareness that life is finite, that life is short. And it's so painful to accept that—it's so much easier to try to live under the illusion that we're all gonna live forever. But I think only when you accept that and when you're met with that in a visceral way, does life starts to really become meaningful in a deeper way."

Andrew, whose mother Lynn died in 2019, acknowledged that although death is not an easy subject to discuss, he's found "joy" in talking about it. He shared, "We don't often talk as openly or honestly about our grief and our losses. It's been labeled as not as attractive as talking about our successes and joy, you know? But there's so much joy in talking about my mother. There's so much joy in sharing a community of consolation."

The Social Network star first shared these sentiments in a November interview with Stephen Colbert, and since then he's had fans and friends open up to him about their experiences with death.  

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

"It's a universal experience, and I think we forget that," the Brit said, adding that he thinks grieving openly and together is "another way that that we can stitch up our own wounds and the wounds of others," saying, "It's good for us."

And while Andrew may be biased, he encourages people to watch Tick, Tick... Boom, explaining, "For anyone who's ever had a dream; for anyone who's ever felt called to a certain way of living; or who's asking, 'How do I live? How am I supposed to spend my time?' I think this film is for you."

"It should wake up some part of your soul that maybe has been dormant for a while and it'll have something maybe you already knew or something that you forgot long ago about how you're how you're meant to live," he continued. "And I'm excited for you to meet Jonathan Larson."

Tick, Tick... Boom is streaming now on Netflix.