Andrew Garfield has harsh words about capitalism affecting art, including his own role
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Andrew Garfield is an artist through and through.
That much became clear in a recent interview between the 39-year-old actor and GQ. During the interview, Garfield took time to gush about his time as Spider-Man, his history in theater and screen, and even sneered at the impact of capitalism on art. The age we’re living in puts a lot of artists in a tough spot, and Garfield isn’t a fan.
In a conversation with Alex Pappademas on November 15, Garfield delved into the inherent tension between the need for steady income and a genuine desire to pursue art for profit with no motivation at all.
Referring to the “eternal struggle” that results from this tension, Garfield called the “capitalist period” we are currently living in “deeply disgusting and terrible and ugly and all these things as well as beautiful”.
Noting that it’s “an amazing time to be alive,” Garfield lamented the “grind” so many of us find ourselves in, and spoke of the need to strike a balance. News of his own brief hiatus from the acting world immediately grabbed headlines as people wondered when he would return to the spotlight, and Garfield cited this as a prime example of how society encourages people to be “on” all the time ” to be.
Joking that he’s willing to be a “slave to capitalism,” Garfield noted his privilege both as an accomplished actor and as an adult who has found a way to balance hard work with well-deserved free time.
“I’m of a generation that’s a little older than the iPhone generation,” he said. “That kind of ‘hustle culture’ – I lived before that, I suppose. But it’s difficult because I’m all for hard work. I was raised by a swim coach dad. I like feeling surrendered. I definitely like grinding on something that’s important to me.”
With no need to earn a solid income and his passion for the many film roles he takes on, Garfield seems perfectly content as a poor but successful theater actor. He emphasized how satisfying he finds stage work, noting that theater work feels “evergreen” in a world where everything is fast-paced.
“If I can do theater in front of 50 people a night for the rest of my life, I know my life will be satisfying,” he said.
Garfield is still years – maybe even decades – away from retirement, but it’s reassuring to know that even after he’s left Hollywood behind, his longtime fans are likely to find the acclaimed actor settling in London and occasionally appearing in stage productions. and thrives in the “world of spirit, the world of imagination” he loves so much.
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