Andrew Garfield Trying to Be Too Hollywood?

Andrew Garfield
One of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the summer season, The Amazing Spiderman 2, opened yesterday receiving a mix of reviews. Andrew Garfield, the star of the movie, who only recently has been trying his way into the Hollywood system, may be trying to be too popular, considering his lack of quality work since The Social Network. This situation might be even more evident, when he hosts Saturday Night Live tonight for the first time, which could have an interesting effect on his career.

Most people found out about Garfield in his star turn as Eduardo Saverin, Mark Zuckerberg’s (Jesse Eisenberg) right hand man in The Social Network. In the film, he showcased his acting chops in a character who was quite complex. His persona served as an intelligent college student, who has to make the difficult choice of taking power or respectability.

Around the same time, Garfield put together another fantastic performance in the indie darling Never Let Me Go, an unconventional love triangle about three young adults. Garfield, like the other actors in the thought provocative film, developed a character who was real and complicated, while juxtaposed to the unpredictability of the script.

Prior to these two films, Garfield, who is British, mostly was featured in British television such as Sugar Rush, The Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord trilogy and the TV movie Boy A, where he showcased his wide range.

Despite his wide range of artistic success, it has not been the same for the actor, since his turn as Spiderman. During this period, Garfield has been absent from creative endeavors. In fact, the only movies he has participated since The Social Network has been The Amazing Spiderman movies.

It makes one wonder then, if Garfield has elected himself to only do movies that are of mass appeal. Ultimately, actors want to be seen by more people, which is understandable. However, at the same time, an actor such as Garfield’s talent seems to be a waste. Ironically, his performance as Peter Parker has been, much like the movies themselves, rather lackluster — even if they have had great financial success. Previously, Andrew Garfield was able to encapsulate himself to be a full-fledged, three-dimensional character in his earlier career; yet, in these Hollywood action movies, he almost seems to be trying too hard.

Whether this is just one of those situations where Garfield is not the right fit, that he cannot compare to his predecessor Tobey Maguire, or any other combination of factors, is impossible to guess. Part of it might be that Garfield, while funny in real life, may have trouble in roles that do not allow him to stretch. His role of Peter Parker, after all, requires him to spew out hokey dialogue, act like a dork, while also being a serious hero that saves the day. That kind of thing is hard to pull off, even for seasoned actors. Unfortunately, it just does not seem to fit for him.

It begs the question though, between his relationship with Emma Stone and his appearance on SNL, if the man is trying to raise his clout. After all, SNL is a vehicle that is primarily used to promote an actor’s work to the forefront of society. While it is not a new thing, to have a quality actor on the variety show, much like Christopher Walken, Robert DeNiro, and recently, Jon Hamm, it could be an interesting scenario for Garfield, simply because not many has seen his serious work.

In turn, this SNL situation could make it more difficult, in the future, for Garfield to be taken seriously. It should not be the case, but the American public may see the actor as a fool on various skits, on top of his hokey performances in the Spiderman movies and not take him seriously.

It also does not help that Garfield is first appearing on the variety show, when it is, arguably, at its worst. Outside of a few hosts who elevate the show, like Justin Timberlake, Louis C.K., and Melissa McCarthy, there has been little to praise the show this season. As a result, Andrew Garfield has a difficult task ahead of him Saturday, as he could hit an interesting stage of his acting career, as he attempts to up his and SNL‘s game.

There is no doubt that the actor has talent. The question does remain though, is Andrew Garfield trying too hard to be a movie star in Hollywood? Or, is this merely a phase to get his name out there, before he pursues acting in those pivotal roles again, in the wake of these two Spiderman movies? Regardless, if his appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show is any indication, when he sang the Spiderman theme song while playing acoustic guitar, he may be a pleasant surprise and help churn out a solid episode of SNL.

Opinion by Simon Mounsey

Rotten Tomatoes
Metro UK
Total Film

3 Responses to "Andrew Garfield Trying to Be Too Hollywood?"

  1. Renee   May 4, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Wow, you guys clearly have no clue what you’re talking about. He didn’t film a movie after Spider-man 1 but he did spend almost half a year on Broadway in Death of a Salesman w/ Philip Seymour Hoffman and earned a Tony Nomination (which everyone thought he should’ve won) After filming TASM2 he filmed a small indie drama “99 Homes” with critically acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani which sounds absolutely great and should premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall. And he just won the lead in the new Scorsese movie and will be filming “Silence” this summer. I have no idea where you get the idea that he’s having a hard time finding parts or that he suddenly wants to become a popular comedic actor?! As far as SNL goes, I thought he was awesome on SNL this past weekend, he surprised everyone with his comedic chops because contrary to what you two are saying, he is known to the public as a dramatic actor. He saw SNL as a new challenge, something totally out of his comfort zone, he stated numerous times how scared & freaked out he was, I thought it was absolutely great that he did it and was able to show a different side of him and show off his range. SNL was just a fun thing to do and I don’t know why you guys are reading so much into it. He did it, he had fun, it’s over. Not a big deal. Oh and btw Cinephile90, where on earth do you get the idea that Emma Stone loves attention? if you actually follow these two, you’ll know she’s just as private as he is. Don’t confuse mandatory promo work and magazine photo shoots/interviews as loving attention.

    • Aris101   May 29, 2014 at 1:39 pm

      First of all,very honestly, I full agree with you Renee. This post seems pointless, seeing that Andrew is an extremely versatile actor and he doesn’t need to ‘look’ for roles and try and become popular for any reason at all. He has mentioned numerous times how he doesn’t like popularity getting to him. I mean wow…will you actually say this about a guy who has remained fully private about his personal life until now? I mean, yes, it is obvious how he’s in a relationship with Emma, looking at their pictures, but that clearly doesn’t mean he’s dating her to become popular. I’m clearly laying out my opinion and I personally feel, actually I know how down to earth and beautiful he is as a person. I’ve read about him, about how sensitive he is as a person and how he easily panics at times, and I can relate to him because I’m just like that:)
      Where his ‘hokey’ performance is concerned, I would have shrugged that off had it been part of a review of his performance in the first movie. I have actually started liking him, actually loving him as an actor after watching him in the Amazing Spider-man 2. I mean, obviously, it’s your opinion, but I would say ‘hokey’ here, is very very pointless and rude, because he is obviously a fantastic actor. Plus, an actor needs to try out and experiment with different roles to really discover his abilities. I feel, you need to be patient and wait for the 3rd installment in order to really be able to judge Andrew Garfield’s acting abilities. Judging him like that isn’t fair. I don’t wanna sound possessive really, but I can leave you to judging him on his part as an actor, that is your opinion, but PLEASE do not ever even think that he is trying to become popular, because looking at him as a person, and as an individual, and judging by his interviews, he is a regular guy who wants to be treated like any other citizen. If he would have wanted to become popular (which he already is, so LOL), he wouldn’t have done all the kind acts he really did. Plus, I find him so charismatic and kind-hearted, judging by the way he beautifully conducts himself in interviews and how articulate he always sounds. Andrew Russell Garfield is and will always remain the most beautiful and genuine and FAMOUS/POPULAR celebrity I have ever seen:)

  2. Cinephile90   May 4, 2014 at 1:52 am

    First off, credit to Simon for raising an interesting question about what could’ve been (and hopefully still can be) one of the more versatile actors of the younger generation. The franchise curse has always been one of the most difficult obstacles for actors to overcome, even those of a higher caliber of thespian than Garfield. Andrew himself seems to be following the route of James Franco in more ways than one (starting off indie, turning to lucrative blockbusters, trying to stretch their comedic chops, etc.) – however, the juxtaposition of Andy’s superior dramatic range and his more lighthearted aspirations are head-scratching at best. Comparing him to Dane DeHaan, who takes every role seriously and knows his where his wheelhouse lies, he seems to be having a harder time getting good parts for that very reason. True genre hoppers who maintain consistency of quality work are few and far in between, and while Andrew seems to fashion himself as one such jack of all trades, he runs the risk of being a master of none and slipping through cracks of his own design. And while he seems to have taken a page out of Gosling’s book in terms of keeping his private life off limits, he’s dating a high profile comedic actress who loves attention and with whom he made two huge superhero films, while Ryan maintains his independence from comic book lore and met his partner on the set of a low key crime drama that stretched both his and her acting chops with the right roles and in the right direction.

    Ultimately, Andrew would be wise to shed the Spidey suit after the inevitable third outing, stay out of the public spotlight, and get back to his roots played best as in ‘Never Let Me Go’. Distance yourself from your partner’s creative path/decisions and carve/make your own. I

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