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AGCU: Andrew Garfield Cinematic Universe

Gigi Richardson Seifert
Andrew Garfield, the English actor most famous for his role in movies like “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Tick, Tick… BOOM!”, has an extensive career. Read about his career and his roles in this article.

Since Andrew Garfield first graced the big screen in 2007, his reputation and fame has been ever-growing. The British actor got his start in John Crowley’sBoy A” and has since worked on a multitude of different films and television series, garnering many awards and nominations along the way. The films that Garfield has acted in are all significantly different, and although it is hard to pick a few favorites, this list compiles some of his best and most popular works.

“Tick, Tick… BOOM!” (2021):

From director Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Tick, Tick… BOOM!” is a musical biography on the life of Johnathan Larson. Played by Garfield, Larson was an advocate for many social issues concerning substance use and homophobia, as well as a playwright famously known for the Broadway play “Rent.” Starring alongside Alexandra Shipp (Susan Wilson) and Robin de Jesús (Micheal), Garfield gives an incredible performance as an ode to the late Johnathan Larson. 

The film takes place in New York City, N.Y., as Larson is writing his new play, “Tick, Tick… BOOM!” Larson feels extreme pressure to “make it big” before he turns 30 and with his birthday being less than a week away, he scrambles to write something good. He faces challenges with friendship, love and the rejection he often faces as an artist in New York.

Garfield shows off his stunning voice in the musical, as well as incredible acting. Not only does he look extremely similar to Larson, but Garfield has the vocals to keep up with him as well. The film’s soundtrack consists of songs written by Larson in the 1990s, specifically the ones that were originally meant for his own play. The soundtrack became insanely popular on social media with songs “30/90” and “Green Green Dress” becoming fan favorites. Both his acting and singing gained him a Best Actor nomination at the 2022 Oscars

“Hacksaw Ridge” (2016):

“Hacksaw Ridge” is a war film based on the life of Desmond Doss, an American medic during World War II. Doss, played by Garfield, is a devoted Seventh-day Adventist Christian who refuses to hold any sort of weapon, despite being in active battlefields. The film follows his life, showing the trials and tribulations he experiences with his faith. 

Although the film follows the majority of his life, it is mainly about Hacksaw Ridge, a 400-foot vertical cliff that was stormed by American troops in April of 1945. As part of the Battle of Okinawa, the Japanese and American troops were in a hand-to-hand fight on who was to hold the island of Okinawa. The Japanese hunkered down with inside trenches and dugouts. They had an advantage because it was their land, but that meant that the American troops were virtually annihilated. Heroically, Doss was able to save 75 lives, ones that were thought to be dead on site. He did all of this without firing a single bullet as he had the cover of night to shield the fact that he was pulling wounded bodies down the cliff. Doss nursed these soldiers back to life, earning him a Medal of Honor in 1945. 

The subject matter in this film is very difficult to get through for those who don’t like war films, but Garfield’s spectacular acting made the film remarkable. It gained him a nomination for Best Actor at the 2017 Oscars, though he lost to Casey Affleck for his role in “Manchester by the Sea.” Despite this, “Hacksaw Ridge” is still one of his greatest roles, one that proved he can act in many different movie categories.

“The Amazing Spider-Man” one and two (2012, 2014):

Marvel’s “Amazing Spider-Man” series featuring Garfield, are arguably his most popular works. Although he was 27 years old at the time, he played a teenage Peter Parker, one of Marvel Comic fans’ favorite characters. He acts alongside huge names such as Sally Field (Aunt May) and Martin Sheen (Uncle Ben). 

After Peter is pushed into a life of crime-fighting while simultaneously being a high school student, he is forced to keep his identity a secret, hurting those around him the most. Although there had been many actors to play Spider-Man before Garfield, he still managed to make the role interesting. One thing that allowed him to do this was his dynamic with co-star Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy,) who is Parker’s love interest in the films. They were a couple on and off screen during filming, contributing to the heartfelt moments, and eventually, heartbreak that was portrayed in the film. 

Garfield is said to have played one of the best Spider-Mans, often falling first place in the ranking of Tobey Maguire, Tom Holland and himself. Despite there being a competition between the three, they still managed to be respectful of each other’s roles, even coming together in 2021 to film “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” This film has come to be very significant in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) by setting up the stage for many films in the years to come. 

“The Social Network” (2010):

“The Social Network” is based on the real-life drama that occurred during and after the creation of the social media app, Facebook. In the film, Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) attends Harvard University where he steals the idea for an app where you can communicate with friends and family. Zuckerberg stole the idea from two brothers who also attended the university; he was able to accomplish this with the help of Garfield’s character, Eduardo Saverin.

Years after this situation and Facebook’s insane success, Saverin and Zuckerberg are entangled in a messy legal battle that was created after Zuckerberg reduced Saverin’s shares despite him being a defining factor in the success of Facebook. Garfield was truly able to show his emotional range in the film, from anger to joy, he is able to make the audience empathize with a situation that most don’t know anything about prior to the film. 

From director David Fincher, this movie was widely successful among many audiences. This is largely due to Garfield’s incredibly heartfelt performance. His role in “The Social Network” gained him a British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, effectively putting him on the map for future roles. 

From a wall-climbing superhero to a World War II medic, Garfield can do it all. In the years that he has been in the entertainment industry, the actor has gained many followers and fans alike and still has many years in his career left. He is starring in the upcoming film “We Live in Time,” directed by John Crowley, and is rumored to be in Guillermo del Toro’s new adaptation of “Frankenstein.” Many are waiting to see what Garfield will do next and although he hasn’t won one yet, he deserves an Academy Award soon. 

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About the Contributors
Ruby Jenkins
Ruby Jenkins, Assignment Editor
"Jeopardy," “Red (Taylor’s Version)” and iced vanilla latte with oat milk enthusiast.
Gigi Richardson Seifert
"Dying is an art, like everything else. I do it exceptionally well." - Sylvia Plath

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