'I wish we could wake up to the fact we’re being brainwashed.'
Words – Maria Pasquini
From the editors of People
‘There is this weird idolising [of celebrities] and I can relate because there are people I meet where I say “You’re a god!” and feel them getting incredibly uncomfortable,’ the 34-year-old actor said.
‘Look who’s in the White House,’ he added. ‘It’s an idiot celebrity, and we enabled that. It’s not just the people who voted for him, it’s the whole culture. We started worshipping things that are empty and false, and, you know, here we are.’
However, Garfield clarified he wasn’t trying to be overly critical with his comments. ‘It’s not sneery,’ he continued. ‘I have total understanding, but I wish we could wake up to the fact we’re being brainwashed.’
In the interview, The Amazing Spider-Man star also discussed his experience playing gay characters, like his role in the London revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America in which he played Prior Walter — a gay man battling the reality of AIDS during the height of the 1980s crisis that killed hundreds of thousands in the gay community.
‘Tony Kushner wrote it, happens to be a gay man, and asked me to do it. Also, I’m an able-bodied actor playing someone in Breathe who is disabled,’ Garfield said, referencing an upcoming movie in which he plays a character who was paralysed by polio.
‘I can talk to a bunch of people who think I shouldn’t play Proir or Robin — I would like to sit in a room [with them] and have a deep talk about disabled and LGBTQ representation in the arts.
‘It’s a conversation I want eye to eye. I don’t want it in public. It’s not constructive. Let’s get in a room and talk about it. I mean that sincerely,’ he added.
In July, Garfield found himself in hot water with the LGBTQ community after he described his experience preparing for his Angels in America role. ‘I am a gay man right now, just without the physical act,’ the actor said, revealing that he had also prepared by watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with friends. (He later said the comments were taken out of context.)
‘As far as I know, I am not a gay man,’ Garfield continued during a discussion at the National Theatre platform, according to the Gay Times. ‘Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful as well. I adore it.’
Asked by The Sunday Times what he meant by that comment, Garfield replied, ‘I wanted to immerse myself in the struggle of a community that shouldn’t be struggling for its sense of belonging. And for the recognition that sexual orientation isn’t a choice. I want to spread the truth about what it is to be born as you are.
‘I’m longing to know all of it, in the experiential sense,’ he continued. ‘I want to touch all of it. That was part of what I said on the [National] platform. I want to know all the garden, if it’s where I’m called to.’