Andrew Russell Garfield was born on August 20, 1983 in Los Angeles, California to his parents Lynn Hillman and Richard Garfield. His mother is from Essex, England, while his father is from California; though his paternal grandparents were also from the United Kingdom. This family moved from Los Angeles to Surrey when Andrew was only three years old. He has an older brother, Ben, who is a doctor. Growing up, Andrew was in the gym doing gymnastics, as well as swimming. He began taking acting classes when he was nine years old and appeared in a youth production of Bugsy Malone. He identified with the comic book character Peter Parker, as he was a skinny kid who would get picked on. While attending Priory Preparatory School, he had ambitions to study business before acting became of interest when he was sixteen. Andrew would go on to study at the City of London Freeman’s School before continuing onto the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he graduated in 2004. After graduating, he would win a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Newcomer for his performance in Kes, followed by the Outstanding Newcomer Award in 2006 at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Andrew played the role of Simmo in the short film Mumbo Jumbo in 2005, which followed three self-styled suburban warriors who are ready to carry out their first operation in their misguided attempt to do something for the war on terror. He would also make his television debut that year on the British series “Sugar Rush” as Tom during its first season, followed by an appearance in the pilot of “Swinging”. In 2006, Andrew appeared in an episode of the television documentary mini-series “Simon Schama’s Power of Art” playing Boy with Fruit. The next year, he would continue to appear on television on “Trial & Retribution” as Martin Douglas, as well as a couple of episodes portraying Frank on the popular series “Doctor Who”. Andrew made his feature film debut as Jack Burridge in the 2007 drama Boy A, which was based on the novel by Jonathan Trigell. The role would earn him the 2008 BAFTA Award for Best Actor. Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle wrote, “there is no doubt about the intelligence and sensitivity” of Garfield’s portrayal. He would next portray Todd Hayes in Lions for Lambs, a crime drama starring Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, and Meryl Streep. He would tell Variety “I’m just lucky to be there working on the same project as them, although I don’t really expect to be recognized later by audiences,” about being in the film. In October, Variety named him one of the “10 Actors to Watch”. In 2008, Andrew played the role of Francis Weston in The Other Boleyn Girl, and was named one of the Shooting Stars at the Berlin International Film Festival. Next, he portrayed Eddie Dunford in the Red Riding television trilogy before appearing as Anton in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a fantasy adventure film which would inevitably be Heath Ledger’s final film. Andrew would earn a Scream Award nomination for Breakout Performance – Male in 2010 for his performance. He would also appear in the pilot episode of the television series “Freezing” as Kit, followed by starring in the short film Air as Tom.
2010 began with another short film, I’m Here, where Andrew portrayed Sheldon. He would next star alongside Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan as Tommy in Never Let Me Go, a romantic drama following the lives of three friends when the reality of the world they live in comes knocking. His portrayal of the character earned him the 2010 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. Next, came his breakout performance as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network, the story of the beginnings of the major social media platform. The film’s director, David Fincher, initially saw Andrew for the role of Mark Zuckerberg, but then found his “incredible emotional access to his kind of core humanity” better tailored for the role of Eduardo. Rolling Stone said Garfield delivered “a vulnerability that raises the emotional stakes in a movie”, and proclaimed: “Keep your eyes on Garfield — he’s shatteringly good, the soul of a film that might otherwise be without one.” He earned BAFTA nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Rising Star, as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance in a Supporting Role. Andrew would get the change to portray his favorite comic book character in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014. The first film earned over $752 million worldwide. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw labelled his portrayal as the “definitive Spider-Man” and Tom Charity of CNN commended his “combination of fresh-faced innocence, nervous agitation and wry humor”. Andrew made his Broadway debut in March 2012 in the revival of Death of a Salesman as Biff Loman. He was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance. Andrew appeared in Arcade Fire’s “We Exist” music video, followed by portraying Dennis Nash in the 2014 drama 99 Homes, also starring Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. He would earn a Best Actor nomination at the 2015 Women Film Critics Circle Awards for his portrayal.
Andrew’s next film would come in the biographical drama Hacksaw Ridge, where he portrayed Desmond Doss alongside Sam Worthington and Mel Gibson. With his performance, he earned nominations of Best Actor at the 2017 Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards, Australian Film Critics Association Awards, Critics Choice Awards, along with countless other nominations. Andrew would tie for the win of the Capri Actor Award with Michael Keaton and win the British/Irish Actor of the Year Award at the London Critics Circle Film Awards. Also in 2016, he would star alongside Adam Driver and Liam Neeson in the historical drama Silence as Rodrigues. The film follows two Portuguese Jesuit priests traveling to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor. Kate Taylor of The Globe and Mail disliked the film and wrote that Garfield “is sweetly resolute and gently anguished as the missionary Rodrigues but any hope that the actor might elucidate the psychology of philosophical certitude or the pain of religious doubt proves vain”. In 2017, Andrew returned to the stage to portray Prior Walter in the two-part play Angels in America at the National Theatre in London from April to August 2017. During the summer months, the performance was broadcast live through the National Theatre Live series. The British Theatre Guide wrote that Andrew was “transformative and unrecognizable in places, completely inhabiting camp, laconic, frightened and totally lovable Prior Walter”. Andrew was nominated for an Oliver Award for Best Actor. He would star opposite Claire Foy in the Andy Serkis-directed biographical drama Breathe as Robin Cavnedish.
In March 2018, Andrew returned to the stage to reprise his role in Angels in America when it moved to Broadway for an 18-week engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre. He won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance. Later that year, Andrew portrayed the role of Sam in Under the Silver Lake, a crime drama following his character after finding a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool. Andrew won the Best Actor award at the Faro Island Film Festival for his performance. In 2020, Andrew starred in and produced the film Mainstream, a film about three people struggling to preserve their identities as they form an eccentric love triangle.
Andrew’s upcoming projects include The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a biographical drama taking an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall and redemption of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker. The film also stars Jessica Chastain and Vincent D’Onorfio and is expected to be released on September 24, 2021. He will also star in the musical tick, tick…Boom!, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Andrew will play the role of Jon alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp and will be his singing debut for a film. It is currently in the post-production process and is expected to be released on Netflix in 2021. With a projected 2022 release, Andrew will also be a part of the television mini-series “Brideshead Revisited”, also starring Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes. The series follows the story of Ryder and his friendship with aristocratic family, the Flytes, who live in the palatial Brideshead Castle.
He became the Ambassador of Sport for the Worldwide Orphans Foundation in 2011.
In his spare time, Andrew enjoys skateboarding, poetry, and playing the guitar.