After some hysteria and backlash, Andrew Garfield has clarified his comments about being a “gay man right now just without the physical act.”
The actor, who is currently starring in revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America in London, made the comments during a Q&A, in which he also said he would refuse to rule out having a same-sex relationship in the future.
According to Gay Times, who were at the Q&A, Garfield said that as he was playing a gay man in the play, Prior Walter, and as he had been watching a lot of RuPaul’s Drag Race, he felt that he was essentially a gay man.
The comments seemed to polarize people online, with some criticizing them as thoughtless, insensitive, and simplifying what it meant to be gay, and others suggesting that it had all been blown out of proportion.
Now Andrew Garfield has clarified his comments, arguing that they were taken way out of context.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, the 33-year-old actor said that it was a misunderstanding.
“That’s of course not what I meant at all. That discussion was about this play and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound,” he said. “It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, ‘I dive in as fully as I possibly can.'”
Continuing, Garfield, who has been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community, said that he just wanted “to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to.”
“It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by,” he explained. “The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.”
Adding to this, Angels in America playwright, Tony Kushner, told The Daily Beast that he, too, believed that there was “nothing there” when it came to the controversy surrounding the actor’s comments.
“One of the things that make a great actor is being able to empathize and dig deep into a character. Andrew does that magnificently,” he said. ” He wasn’t assuming any degree of superiority in what he said. He didn’t write Angels in America. I did. I’m a gay man. Andrew is a straight actor and he has every right to tell my stories. If we are now saying that in order to tell a story you cannot imagine or portray any other life than your own, then that is the death of fiction. This controversy blew up, and blew out. That tells you everything.”
While clearly Andrew Garfield should have been more careful with his words, it’s clear that, as is the way, they were blown out of proportion and taken out of context.
Meanwhile, while rumors of a Broadway transfer are being circulated, the current iteration of Angels in America currently running at the National Theatre in London will broadcast both parts of the play on July 20th (that’s today) and July 27th to cinemas around the world.
The first part, Millennium Approaches, will be broadcast on July 20th, and the second, Perestroika, will air seven days later on July 27th. For information about how you can get tickets, and to find participating cinemas, visit here for Part One and here for Part Two.