If you want to see a phenomenal performance, look no further than Andrew Garfield in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, tick, tick…Boom!. While Garfield has already proven himself to be a gifted performer with his previous roles on the stage in Angels in America and in films like Never Let Me Go and Hacksaw Ridge, he’s taken himself to another level in the way he brought Jonathan Larson back to life in tick, tick…Boom!. Not only did he capture Larson’s energy and zeal for life, but he also made it look effortless, including when he had to sing full force while delivering an emotional performance. Again, if you want to see a true "tour-de-force" performance that will assuredly be nominated for an Academy Award, you want to check out tick, tick…Boom!.
With the film now playing in select theaters and arriving on Netflix this Friday, I recently got to speak with Andrew Garfield over Zoom. During the interview, he revealed the scenes he’d love to show Jonathan Larson, how playing the role impacted his life, how Lin-Manuel Miranda made a dream of his come true that he didn’t even realize he had, why it was so important for him to throw all inhibitions away while playing the role, and when he realized he could sing and really do the role justice.
If you’re not familiar with tick, tick…Boom! and haven’t seen the trailers, the film—set in 1990—is a semi-autobiographical story of up-and-coming playwright Jonathan Larson. In the weeks leading to his thirtieth birthday, Larson is struck by self-doubt and fears about his lacking achievements, which leads him to question if he chose the wrong career path. On top of existential dread, he starts to feel pressure from his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp) —who dreams of a life beyond the city limits and teaching ballet to wealthy kids—and his best friend Michael (Robin de Jesús) — who has already abandoned being an actor for financial security.
Larson originally performed the work as a solo piece, but it was revived and revamped after his death and debuted Off-Broadway in 2001 and then went on a US Tour in the early 2000s. Larson went on to write the hit musical Rent but tragically died the day before that show’s first preview performance. The film also stars Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light, and Vanessa Hudgens. Tick, Tick...Boom! was written by Steven Levenson and produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Imagine Entertainment, Julie Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Watch what Andrew Garfield had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about.
- If he could show Jonathan Larson a scene in the movie, which scene would he want him to watch?
- How did playing the role impact his own life and the choices he will make in the future?
- When did he realize he actually could sing and play this role?
- How Lin-Manuel Miranda made a dream of his come true that he didn’t even realize he had.
- Why it was so important for him to throw all inhibitions away to play the role.
He also talks about working with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mike Nichols on Broadway, hosting ‘SNL’, ‘Angels in America,’ and more.
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