Andrew Garfield: ‘Gay Man’ Comments Were Taken Out of Context

Andrew Garfield is clarifying controversial comments he made about preparing to play a gay man. The actor, 33, received backlash after a July 3 panel in which he said he prepared for his role in Angels in America by watching “every single series of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and that researching the character made him “a gay man right now just without the physical act.”

Andrew Garfield attends the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall on February 12, 2017 in London, England.
Andrew Garfield attends the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall on February 12, 2017 in London, England. Samir Hussein/WireImage

Many social media users were quick to criticize Garfield for the remarks, saying they were insensitive to the struggles and history of gay people. Now, Garfield is saying the comments were taken out of context.

“That’s of course not what I meant at all,” Garfield told Newsbeat on Saturday, July 15. “That discussion was about this play and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound. It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, ‘I dive in as fully as I possibly can.’”

“My only longing is to serve and to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to,” he continued. “It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by. The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.”

During the panel on July 3, Garfield also opened up about his own sexuality. “As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” he said at the time. “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.”

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