Andrew Garfield (Image by Helen Maybanks/National Theatre)
As people continue to pile on gay ally Andrew Garfield for offhandedly saying he is all but gay, it would serve us well to consider the full context of his remarks, delivered at a talk in support of his performance in the London revival of Angels in America.
Speaking about his concern with playing a gay role, Garfield said (minus some interjections from a co-star):
But, but, but, basically as soon as I, uh, was free of these other commitments, I, I — I think we all did — we all just got incredibly immersed in um... Well, for me, one of my main concerns, which, uh, I feel every day when I do this play is, um, as far as I know, I am not a gay man. As far as I know. You know. I may [hit? have?] an awakening, you know, later in my life, which would be wonderful. I could explore that area of the garden. Um ... but, but, but right now I'm secluded to my, my area, which is wonderful as well. I adore it. Um, but a big concern was what right do I have, you know, to, to play this, this, um, this wonderful, seminal, gay part? Um, and again, what Denise [Gough] was saying I had to trust that it was, it was, it was the right thing, and Tony had asked me and I thought, Well, if you're asking me, then maybe it's okay ...
So, so, for me, it was doing honor and doing justice to know my herstory, as it were ... But, but, but the preparation had begun before, you know, with, with, with all of my friends, you know, and this was as much devoted, me doing this is as much devoted to my friends in the gay community as it is to, um, those that I don't know, to those that passed during the AIDS epidemic, um. Lots of films, lots of reading, every season of RuPaul's Drag Race, like every ... like, every Untucked episode, every little interview with, with Alaska. I have RuPaul — that was literally the only time off during rehearsal during the show, every Sunday I had eight friends over and we watched Ru. That's literally it, that's, that's my life outside of this play. [Laughs]
Um, I'm, I am a gay man right now, pretty much — just without the physical act. But that's all. [Laughs]
He goes on to stress that he took inspiration from We Were Here (2010), How to Survive a Plague (2012( and AIDS activist Peter Staley.
I don't see how this is offensive, in context.