Andrew Garfield: “It was impossible to say ‘no’ to” Angels in America

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Actor Andrew Garfield in Angels in America

“I have trepidation of doing anything, acting wise. I have a healthy dose of anxiety.” – Andrew Garfield

The Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Angels in America has wrapped, which means Andrew Garfield, who played Prior Walter in both the 2017 West End production and the 2018 Broadway production, will say good-bye to a play that he has been performing in for the better part of two years. Garfield was nominated for an Olivier Award for the performance, and later won the Tony Award for Best Performance of an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play. Speaking with Boulin Art Info, Garfield spoke about the intimidation he felt tackling such a hallowed play and how he feels now that the production has ended.

Garfield reveals that he was very familiar with the film adaptation of Angels in America before he was cast in the current Broadway production — but his familiarity with the material also worried him. He explains, “I had worn out a DVD of the Mike Nichols [HBO] film, along with some college friends. It was such a master class in writing, directing, acting, everything. So when I was asked to do this, I said yes because I remembered all the feelings I’d experienced with the film. Then I read it and thought, “This is so important and more timely than ever. But how is anybody supposed to this?'”

On being intimidated by material, Garfield says, “I have trepidation of doing anything, acting wise. I have a healthy dose of anxiety. But in the same breath, when the writing is as brilliant as this, the work is sort of done for you. You just have to not get in the way. And it’s a rare thing to be part of a story which is undeniably important, and of this depth and necessity. So it was impossible to say “no” to it and I’d have been crazy to do so. So you throw yourself into it and hope the hard work pays off.”

Now with his time with the material ended, Garfield reflects and believes it has made him a better person. He says, “I’m still struggling with it but I feel much closer to who I am because of doing this play and the journey that Prior goes on. And being surrounded by all these great people who are the best influences and who are most inspiring to witness. I feel like I’m seeing people in a much more detailed and rich way. Maybe that’s just growing up but this feels like the most meaningful thing I could do in my life right now.”

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