Andrew Garfield reveals the ‘lie’ which landed him his Oscar-nominated role in Tick, Tick…BOOM!

Virgin Radio

17 Feb 2022, 12:11

Credit: Getty/Virgin Radio

Credit: Getty

Actor Andrew Garfield is revelling in the enormous success of his latest film Tick,Tick…BOOM!, which is out now, and he revealed on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky how he managed to land his now Oscar-nominated role, and why it was all based on a lie. 

In the musical drama, available to watch on Netflix now, Andrew stars as late playwright Jonathan Larson, who famously wrote Broadway musicals Rent and ‘rock monologue’ Tick, Tick…BOOM! The movie of the same name is the story of the aspiring composer in New York City who is worried he made the wrong career choice, whilst navigating the pressures of love and friendship.

Since its release back in November, Andrew has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Actor category alongside the likes of Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Javier Bardem. 

Tick,Tick…BOOM! was directed by Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was interested in asking Andrew about starring in the film, but as Andrew admitted to Chris, his involvement in the project, and subsequent award nomination, is all based on a slight twist of the truth. 

On his luck in getting the role, which required him to sing, Andrew explained: “The reason I'm nominated for an Oscar is because I have a really good friend who lied on my behalf to Lin-Manuel Miranda, that is the direct line.

“Me and Lin, we share a mutual friend who's a massage therapist in New York City, called Greg, he’s one of my best friends in the world...he's a miracle worker, and one day Lin's on his massage table and Lin says to Greg: ‘Hey, you're friends with Andrew, do you know if he can sing, I have a project I want to talk to him about.’”

Andrew added; “Greg immediately, being the great friend he is, just lied through his teeth, having no idea if I could sing or not, and said: ‘Yes, he is the greatest singer, it will change everything.’”

Once Lin had left the room, the massage therapist immediately called Andrew to warn him, as he jokingly suggested his ‘reputation is on the line’. 

Luckily for Andrew, Lin still called him, and persuaded him to take on the role of Jonathan after recommending singing lessons to ensure he wasn’t ‘tone-deaf’. 

Andrew then worked with a singing coach and also learnt to play the piano for the musical role, which the actor said allowed him do the role justice. 

Jonathan passed away at the age of 35 after suffering from an aortic dissection, just hours before the first off-Broadway performance of Rent took place. 

Andrew added: “I just feel so lucky, and to do it in service of Jonathan, him and his music. He never got to see the success of his work and it's just this remarkable thing where I got to put all of my energy in serving him and serving his life and what he left the world, so it was just a beautiful thing all round.”

Tick,Tick…BOOM! is available to watch on Netflix now. 

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.