Andrew Garfield On His SAG Nom For Netflix’s ‘tick, tick…BOOM!’: “This Nomination Honors Jonathan Larson”

'tick, tick ... BOOM!'
Andrew Garfield, as Jonathan Larson, working in the Moondance Diner. © Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Andrew Garfield scored a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for the Netflix film tick, tick…BOOM! In the film Garfield plays Jon, a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. 

Waking up early in the morning with his dog in tow to talk to Deadline about his nomination, Garfield got candid about portraying the late Rent composer Jonathan Larson and showing respect to his legacy. This experience and acknowledgement by his peers isn’t something the actor takes lightly. 

“You know, it’s the best it gets for anyone who has a SAG card. But really this is Jonathan Larson’s and it’s a very personal story. It’s very, very personal. It feels incredibly gratifying to me, not only to be encouraged by my own tribe but it gives me a reason to keep doing what I’m doing.”

tick, tick…BOOM!, which also stars Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light and Vanessa Hudgens, is directed by Hamilton creator and first-time film director Lin-Manuel Miranda, and based on the Off Broadway musical of the same name written and composed by Larson. The actor feels the nomination is bigger than him, and that this is in honor and acknowledgement for Larson and his work.  

“This nomination is really honoring Jon and all that he stood for. It kind of gives him more life, and that is  the ultimate intention with telling the story and making this film.”

Garfield learned a great deal about Larson while getting into character. One of the most prominent pieces of information he gained was seeing how the musician had a lust for life and living in the moment. 

“He was someone who had acute awareness of the shortness and sacredness of our time here,” the actor said. “That comes from having watched the HIV/AIDS epidemic ravage through his community in New York City. At his own sense of running out of time, he was someone that was a seer of life. He knew he didn’t have a moment to lose or deviate from his destiny.”

Larson would not live to see the success of his musical Rent as he died at age 35 on Jan. 25, 1996, the morning of Rent’s first Off Broadway preview. The cause of death was an aortic aneurysm caused by undiagnosed Marfan’s Syndrome. 

When watching tick, tick…BOOM! Garfield wants viewers to be immersed in the full experience of Larson’s life, in addition to witnessing all the hard work Miranda, the cast, and crew put into making this production a reality.

“I hope audiences come away feeling that they’ve spent time in Jonathan Larson’s life, his community, and all of their dreams and the wanting to be alive together and celebrate,” he said.  “What Lin-Manuel Miranda has done his first time as a filmmaker is unparalleled. Just let the story just wash over you.”

This is Garfield’s third time being nominated for a SAG award. He received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the 2011 film The Social Network. In 2017, he received a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, in the Mel Gibson directed film Hacksaw Ridge.  

tick,tick…BOOM! Is currently streaming on Netflix.

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