Andrew Garfield says filming 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' spiritual, communal experience - Korea Times
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Andrew Garfield says filming 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' spiritual, communal experience

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On the right screen, actor Andrew Garfield, left, and director Lin-Manuel Miranda speak with moderator Kolleen Park's during an online press conference for the film, 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' / Courtesy of Netflix
On the right screen, actor Andrew Garfield, left, and director Lin-Manuel Miranda speak with moderator Kolleen Park's during an online press conference for the film, 'Tick, Tick…Boom!' / Courtesy of Netflix

By Kwak Yeon-soo

Andrew Garfield, who plays "Rent" creator Jonathan Larson in Netflix's upcoming musical film, "Tick, Tick…Boom!," said he was compelled to perform as the musical theater legend.

In Lin-Manuel Miranda's feature directorial debut "Tick, Tick…Boom!," Garfield plays Jon, an aspiring theater composer who is waiting tables at a diner while writing musicals in New York City in 1990.

Nearing the age of 30 and his potentially life-changing opportunity, Jon feels pressure from his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp), who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York, and his friend Michael (Robin de Jesus), who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security.

In the press conference, held via Zoom, Garfield said he felt "tremendous responsibility" to portray the part. Learning about who Larson was as an artist and his devotion to his art, the actor said he wanted to be embody his spirit.

"I don't know if I ever got to the place of 'I can do this.' It was more like 'I must do this so, therefore, I will.' Once Lin introduced me to Jonathan and his work, I felt deeply in love, like I was meeting a long-lost brother that I didn't know existed," Garfield told reporters.

Actor Andrew Garfield / Courtesy of Netflix
Actor Andrew Garfield / Courtesy of Netflix

The Tony-winning actor said he was "scared as hell" to sing onscreen, but was able to pull it off thanks to help from amazing people, including his vocal coach, Lin's musical team and musical theater performers whom he had a chance to listen to and be inspired by.

"There was the first workshop where I had to sing for the first time in front of the crew and small audience. It's rather that initiatory moment when you'd rather throw yourself into the river, chop off your leg and go to hospital just to avoid having to sing in front of people. But those thoughts come every single time and they are not going away. All you have to do is step into the rehearsal and just be there," he said.

Garfield also praised the director, saying Lin was the "secret magic source" in successfully bringing to life the movie version of the off-Broadway show.

"Sometimes it takes someone else to see who you are and where you can go. And I think that's one of the defining features of a great director, especially a director of actors. I'm very proud to say that Lin saw me so I can see myself in the sense of where I can bring my vocal instruments because I was ravaged with self-doubt about it," he said.

"Lin cares so deeply about this project. His brilliant vision and sense of joy made me excited to come to work and propelled me to work harder. When he showed me the earlier cuts, I was so moved by it. I remember saying to him 'You've honored everyone's work in this' because I absolutely felt like he had hit it right into the heart."

"Tick, Tick…Boom!" will premiere on Netflix, Nov. 19.



Kwak Yeon-soo yeons.kwak@koreatimes.co.kr


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