Everyone’s In Awe Of Andrew Garfield’s Stunning Take On Grief And Loss

Garfield choked up while discussing the loss of his mother, who passed in 2019.

Andrew Garfield opens up about the loss of his mother in 2019

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Earlier this week, during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, Andrew Garfield opened up about grief with more honesty and verbosity than most actors manage in a lifetime of press tours.

Ostensibly on the show to promote the new Netflix film Tick, Tick… Boom!, Garfield swerved conversation towards the passing of his mother, who died of pancreatic cancer back in 2019. Visibly choked up, Garfield reflected on the way that he had come to terms with the loss, noting that the grief he felt was emblematic of all the “unexpressed love” that he felt towards the woman who raised it.

“I love talking about it, by the way,” Andrew Garfield said, his eyes wet. “So if I cry, it’s…only a beautiful thing.”

From there, Garfield discussed the terrifyingly fast passage of time, noting that “we never get enough time with each other, right?

“No matter if someone lives until 60, 15, or 99. So I hope this grief stays with me because it’s all the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her. And I told her every day! We all told her every day, she was the best of us.”

Garfield also noted the ways that Tick, Tick… Boom! a musical about the life of Rent creator Jonathan Larson, who passed away at the tender age of 35, allowed him to channel his sadness into something productive, and deeply healing.

“I was able to step into this in a way where I could honor this incredible life of Jonathan Larson. He was taken far too soon. He died at the age of 35 on the night of the first preview of Rent off-Broadway in the New York Theater Workshop, some strange twist of fate that he was taken that soon.

“And this film is kind of to do with that, it’s to do with this ticking clock that we all have. That we all know somewhere deep down that life is sacred, life is short, and we better just be here as much as possible with each other holding on to each other.

“I got to sing Jonathan Larson’s unfinished song while simultaneously singing for my mother and her unfinished song. And I’m indebted to John, and I’m indebted to [Tick, Tick… Boom! director] Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m indebted to everyone who’s brought me to this place so I can honour the most beautiful person that I’ve ever experienced in my life through my art and use it as a way to heal, use it as a way to sew up the wounds.”

Watch the deeply moving clip in full here: