Andrew Garfield is currently starring in Tony Kushner‘s impactful play Angels in America.

ANDREW GARFIELD TALKS PLAYING A GAY MAN

The drama follows various men and women affected by AIDS in the 1980s in America. Garfield landed the role in the London production of Prior Walter, a gay man dying of the disease. In a recent Q&A session about the play, Garfield spoke about playing a gay man when he himself is not gay.

“What right do I have to play this wonderful, seminal gay part?” the actor asked rhetorically. “As far as I know, I am not a gay man. As far as I know,” he continued to chuckles. “I may get an awakening later in my life, which would 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.”

The chuckles were more scattered when he admitted, “Every Sunday I have eight friends over and we would watch Ru,” referring to RuPaul’s Drag Race. “This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now, pretty much, just without the physical act — that’s all,” he concluded.

In context, his comments make sense. Garfield, like many other actors, prepares for his role by trying to get into character outside of the stage. Some people, however, were not amused by his lighthearted attempt to explain his process. Others, misconstrued his words, and focused on a straight actor saying he was “a gay man, just without the physical act.”

“Andrew Garfield is “gay without the physical act” because he watches RuPaul. – Rich Straight White Men Try To Be Interesting Vol. 53,” one user wrote on Twitter. Christian Tucci of The Huffington Post, a member of the LGBTQ community himself, did not respond positively either. “I just feel like myself now, and it’s all thanks to my hero, Andrew Garfield. Before him, I had no idea I could exempt myself from all of the negatives of being a part of the LGBTQ community,” he said sarcastically. “I look forward to no longer feeling fear, shame, and prejudice. Hooray! And to Andrew, I’m sure you’ll fare better with it than I did. (I will say, however, you are missing out on the best part!).”

Others saw reason and called for people to leave the actor alone. “Can we please stop eating our allies? This Andrew Garfield non-story is inane,” said another user. Another rewrote the entire story in one sentence: “Hi everyone, Andrew Garfield is an ally who said something a tiny bit silly about enjoying watching a very good programme that is very gay.”

Garfield is taking the part very seriously, despite his joke about RuPaul. “There was no choice but to say yes because you don’t often get to work on a character like this, or on a story that has so much humanity in it,” he said in an interview. “It is a play that is about everything, it has everything in it, all the beauty and the pain of living. To get to experience that and to live that out and offer it to an audience is a privilege.”

In addition, Garfield also said he hopes to “honor” his gay friends, and those who died or were affected during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Thus far, Garfield has received rave reviews for his performance.

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