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Opinion | Why this Hollywood Actor Stays Off Social Media (Mostly)

[MUSIC PLAYING]When you walk in a room, do you have sway?kara swisherI’m Kara Swisher, and you’re listening to “Sway.” My guest today is actor Andrew Garfield. He recently starred in the film “Tick, Tick Boom!” about the composer Jonathan Larson, who gave us the Broadway hit Rent. Garfield’s performance snagged him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. And he’s up for an Oscar too. But my favorite performance from Andrew Garfield is the one that’s more than a decade old from “The Social Network,” the film about the founding of Facebook and the rise of Mark Zuckerberg. Garfield played Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s co-founder and frenemy. Of course, I had a front row seat to the early days of Facebook. So I wanted to start right there.Andrew Garfield, welcome to “Sway.”andrew garfieldI’m very, very happy to be here.kara swisherSo let’s start with this role — it was a breakout role for you, I think — Eduardo Saverin, who is the original investor in Facebook. He was a classmate of Mark Zuckerberg. And he’s sort of the conscience of the movie. I was around in those days when the real Mark Zuckerberg was kicking around the Valley trying to raise money with Sean Parker. I know Sean Parker pretty well. Did your role in the 2010 film “The Social Network” give you any particular insights about what has since unfolded at Facebook? Because it was a pretty tough movie.andrew garfieldYeah.kara swisherAnd let me just say before we start, I had a discussion with Mark about it. And he said, this is how people are going to remember me. And I said, I’m sure you’re going to do far worse things going forward, which actually turned out to be true. So tell me a little bit about how you’re looking at that.andrew garfieldOh my goodness, your prophesying is unfortunately very apt. I was a young kid. I was 23, 24 when I signed up to do this project. When I read the script, you hear it’s Aaron Sorkin and you go, oh, he’s going to kill these people, like he’s going to really shine a light into the nooks and crannies of the psyches of the people that create these platforms. And, of course, I immediately shut my Facebook page down as soon as I read the script.kara swisherReally? What in it made you do that?andrew garfieldI think what Aaron laid out was kind of — the essential wound of Mark Zuckerberg, or his interpretation of it, of an inability to connect and needing to create a vehicle for his very specific ability to connect in shallow ways. And then how it’s kind of — his dysfunction has become all of our dysfunction. And it kind of struck me as this kind of — the rotten head of the fish affects the rest of the body. And, of course, it’s just Aaron’s interpretation and our interpretation and Jesse Eisenberg’s and David Fincher’s, but it felt pretty impossible to deny.kara swisherRight, well, that’s an interesting concept of this idea is his dysfunction is our dysfunction. I always say, I called it the expensive education of Mark Zuckerberg, which, I mean, our expense, not his. You know, I mean, he got rich. I’d like to play a clip from a scene in the film. This is just after your character, Eduardo Saverin, arrived at Facebook for the millionth user party, which turned out to be an ambush in which Saverin is told his stocks will be diluted. I think this was an amazing scene. Saverin confronts Mark, who is coding away at his computer.archived recording (eduardo)Mark?archived recording (sean)He’s wired in.archived recording (eduardo)Sorry?archived recording (sean)He’s wired in.archived recording (eduardo)Is he?archived recording (sean)Yes. [BOOM]archived recording (eduardo)How about now? You still wired in?archived recording (sean)Call security.archived recording (eduardo)You issued 24 million new shares of stock.archived recording (mark)You were told that if new investors come along —archived recording (eduardo)How much were your shares diluted? How much were his?archived recording (gretchen)What was Mr. Zuckerberg’s ownership share diluted down to?archived recording (eduardo)It wasn’t.archived recording (gretchen)What was Mr. Moskovitz’s ownership share diluted down to?archived recording (eduardo)It wasn’t.archived recording (gretchen)What was Sean Parker’s ownership share diluted down to?archived recording (eduardo)It wasn’t.archived recording (gretchen)What was Peter Thiel’s ownership share diluted down to?archived recording (eduardo)It wasn’t.archived recording (gretchen)And what was your ownership share diluted down to?archived recording (eduardo)0.3 percent.[MUSIC PLAYING]andrew garfieldThat Trent Reznor score.kara swisherYeah, amazing. What did that scene reveal to you?andrew garfieldI get chills listening to that scene. It reminds me of what you said at the beginning of our conversation about Eduardo really being, you know, the conscience of that whole enterprise at the beginning, that could have been retained, actually, and by exiling the heart, Mark ended up in all the trouble he’s ended up in. I find that quite touching and tragic. You know, the tragic flaw of this kind of Shakespearean version of Mark Zuckerberg that Aaron Sorkin created is an exile of the heart. And the motto of move fast and break things maybe doesn’t have all the advantages that he had previously thought.And I think Aaron is very generous in that final scene of the film where Mark is just refreshing his Facebook page to see if his ex has accepted his friend request, it shows the soul of the man who just wants what we all want, which is love and to be loved and to love. And I would say it was a very, very generous thing that Aaron and David gave Mark in that moment.kara swisherAnd also he had his girlfriend the whole time. Like that was dramatic conceit. But I think he got it right about connection for sure. But at the time, these were people who were celebrated. You know, these were the winners. And one of the things that was hard, I think, was going against it. Because you were — your character was portrayed as a villain in that story at the time, someone who is sort of a bummer on innovation and getting too big while Sean Parker was sort of celebrated as the go-go guy.andrew garfieldMm-hm, yeah, and I think that speaks to a kind of an adolescence in our culture, I think, and a kind of celebration of adolescence, a celebration of youth, a celebration of a kind of irresponsibility that we have just now matured. It’s why we still worship Kanye West. It’s why we still worship people like Elon Musk, you know? There’s a kind of immaturity that we idolize and idealize.But then for me, it’s like we’ve volunteered to be the addiction research guinea pigs for Mark and his algorithm and all the other social network platforms. We have the power to disengage. We have the power to switch off. And I guess I’m curious about —kara swisherMaybe not, actually.andrew garfieldYou think?kara swisherI think it’s not just addiction, it’s addiction and necessity.andrew garfieldTotally.kara swisherYou have to do it for work. You know, you have to do it for your life. And in the pandemic, you need it to order food and communicate and go to school. So it’s unavoidable and addictive at the same time.andrew garfieldI mean, it’s a really good point. And I still go to, how do we get away from financial greed, power, status? The things that are, you know, killing kids on Instagram, there’s something about the descent into the self and an acceptance of every single aspect of ourselves that is being threatened and exiled. So we’re actually not able to be whole together. And, again, I think it’s a kind of symptom of the dysfunction of this particular wound in Mr. Zuckerberg and how his inability to connect has become our inability to truly connect to ourselves in each other.kara swisherYou know, it was interesting, the tagline for “The Social Network” was “you don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” And in that case, it was just the Winklevii, the Winklevoss brothers, who are easy to make fun of. Although now they’re Bitcoin billionaires, so I guess everything turned out OK for them.andrew garfieldBut I would say “turned out OK” is a subjective thing, you know? It might be turning out OK for the bank accounts. It may not be turning out OK for their inner lives.kara swisherAndrew, I don’t worry for the Winklevoss. It’s called a mile wide and a foot deep but having spent some time with them. In any case, they’re just fine.andrew garfieldI understand.kara swisherThey’re just fine. So you’re not on social media at all now. You were on Twitter for a time or not at all? I don’t see you anywhere there.andrew garfieldNo, no I have a secret Twitter account just to kind of creep around and watch people. And it’s my main source of news with following people that I respect and admire. But no, I don’t do social media. I mean, I remember during “The Social Network” and then into “Spider-Man,” I was in my mid-20s. And I still felt too vulnerable to be on social media. I knew that if I wanted to have the life of privacy and protection and freedom and wholeness, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to be exposed to all of the faceless, voiceless, nameless people on social media.kara swisher— who have an opinion about you —andrew garfieldTotally.kara swisher— who have an opinion about you or you’re Spider-Man or whatever you happen to be doing.andrew garfieldOf my girlfriend or whatever it is, I know that there were certain things that I would have to protect. I have a friend, an older mentor in the acting community, who says to be an actor, to live as an actor, and to last as an artist, you have to have the heart of a child in the skin of a rhino. And I thought, well, I’ve got to put — I’ve got to put some guards at the gate. I’ve got to put some warriors and dogs at the gate and build a moat and pull up the drawbridge and only let the people in that really get it to fully come in. And that’s OK.kara swisherAnd that applies to Twitter or Facebook, Instagram, things like that from your perspective?andrew garfieldI mean, I think especially, all those. And especially for young people and young women particularly Instagram, the obsession with image now, the kind of two dimensional image that we present comparing our insides to other people’s outsides, this is where — I know you have kids of your own. So it’s something that you probably wrestle with all the time. I’m not sure.kara swisherWell, I’m a sharent. No, unfortunately, my son calls me a sharent. I have one son who hates it, one son who loves it. But it depends. It’s a really interesting thing because I really do have, I would say, an addiction to Twitter. And I read news on it.But this is an interview of you. By the way, you do rather well on social media. Just so you know, they think you’re adorable and all your girlfriends are adorable. You tend to get an easy road on there. I wouldn’t say that of Kanye West or —andrew garfieldNo, well, I think it’s because I don’t engage. I think it’s because I don’t give too much. I think it’s because I give just what I feel comfortable giving. And it’s authentic. It’s me. But there’s parts of me that are mine and that I want — need to protect. And I am very, very happy with that. I’m happy that I got given that early social network experience. Because it kind of scared the shit out of me, to be frank.kara swisherBut social media, it is a way for celebrities to reach directly to their fans. It’s a really interesting phenomena for a lot of people. I think it is. It’s fascinating because it was much more controlled before.andrew garfieldYeah, and I think there’s absolutely a lot of beauty in that. Like, I love seeing Chris Hemsworth working out. I love seeing The Rock hanging out with his daughter. I love, know — it’s like a performative intimacy that feels very comforting and very, very sweet. It’s an extension of the performance.And I think that can be healthy for people. That can be really good for some people. And I really don’t judge it. I actually envy it. I wish I was less sensitive, in a way.kara swisherMaybe try TikTok.andrew garfieldOof.kara swisherIt can be pleasant. If you like air frying, that’s what I get a lot of videos of. I get a lot of air fryer videos. I don’t know why. Hollywood has lost a lot of ground to tech companies over the years. And streaming is now ascendant. Do you feel the shift in power?Right now, you were in “Spider-Man.” Only the big blockbusters seem to work in theaters anymore, right? I just interviewed Ted Sarandos, Netflix. I’ve interviewed Ari Emanuel, a whole bunch of different people. And they have different takes on it. But most of them come to the conclusion that streaming is where everything’s at. How has that changed you know your calculation as an artist? How do you think about that?andrew garfieldI tend not to. I just love telling stories. I have the privileged position of just getting to make stories. And the message is far more important than the medium. The ideas are far greater than the medium. As long as there is a medium, then I’m happy. As long as Netflix exists, as long as —kara swisherSo you don’t mind? A lot of people in Hollywood are minding that concept.andrew garfieldI mind to the extent that I know, and I think we all in our bones, that being in a room together watching a story play out and experiencing a story together, breathing together, crying together, laughing together is another form of medicine that we actually need. We are a storytelling animal. We are a meaning making animal. And it’s very, very hard to do that without being together. And for me, and I know for most people, that we get to actually connect in the non-Zuckerberg longing way to connect is by being in an actual room together, not a virtual one.kara swisherI see. So I take it you’re not going into the Metaverse at this point, except if it’s a “Spider-Man” movie, for example.andrew garfieldI have no desire to go into the Metaverse. That was one of the most terrifying adverts I’ve ever seen for anything. And it did feel like it was created by non-humans. And, yeah, it was devastating, actually, to my soul. But listen, I love — I snuck in and I saw “Spider-Man” in the theaters.kara swisherThis is “Spider-Man No Way Home.” You play one of the Spider-Mans. There’s three Spider — four —andrew garfieldThree.kara swisher— three Spider-Men in the multiverse, essentially, a multiverse situation. That did very well. It was a blockbuster at the box office, at the physical box office, which made many to say, movie theaters aren’t dead. But my point was, all the others are not. Has the pandemic quashed anything but our love of superheroes?andrew garfieldI think going to the cinema has become a slightly more of a special occasion for all of us. And I think we really select, especially during the pandemic with everything going on and especially with, you know, the financial crunch that a lot of people are feeling, I think there is just more selective and making it a more sacred event. It’s, again, it’s this kind of deep bone longing, that we have this kind of human longing to be together, to be experiencing something together. And the same with live music, you know? I’m actually not concerned. I was at an event last night. And Guillermo Del Toro, the great filmmaker, made a speech and basically said it’s been, of course, a shitty year for movie theaters. But it’s been an absolutely incredible year for movies. And I think that stands. And he’s the one that said, you know, the idea is far more important than the medium.[MUSIC PLAYING]kara swisherWe’ll be back in a minute.By the way, you can use that minute to go comment on the dysfunction of Mark Zuckerberg or anything else in this episode. Just visit More with Andrew Garfield after the break.There’s buzz on social media, just so you know, whether you’re going to play Spider-Man again. Are you?andrew garfieldI don’t know. It’s not something I’ve ruled out. It was my favorite superhero when — since I was three years old. So stepping back in as a 36, 37-year-old man was incredibly funny and enjoyable. And just a great gift, a great surprise. And to work with, you know, my hero, my Spider-Man, Tobey Maguire, and then this incredible young Spider-Man, Tom Holland. So now moving forward, I’m not, I’m not entirely sure.But in terms of choosing roles, it’s really — I think the role of the artist, and I take this seriously, is to be the prophets, to be the ones that are reflecting the times we’re in. And I think with “tick, tick…BOOM!,” that’s what the main theme of this film is.kara swisherSo how did you pick it? It’s a musical about the creator of “Rent,” Jonathan Larson. Tell me how you got involved in it. Why did Lin-Manuel Miranda cast you? Because you’ve talked about this on many shows, you didn’t know how to sing, but apparently you can. Why were you attracted to it and why do you think he was attracted to you for this role?andrew garfieldI was attracted to it because it felt like the quintessential initiatory stage of being a young artist that Jonathan was symbolizing in this particular part of his life, this two-week period, this will I, won’t I make it moment. And if I don’t make it this time, do I keep trying?And I think it’s that thing that we all go through, if we’re lucky enough, to find something that we adore, to find something that we feel called to, or to find our genius, and I think that’s why so many people, especially young people, are connecting to the film because I think especially during the pandemic and these last two years of kind of struggle and suffering, for young people to see someone fully commit to their gift fully commit to their dream in the face of failure and rejection and isolation and maybe not making it is deeply, deeply inspiring. And it is a kind of archetypal journey that every young artist has to go through.kara swisherRight, “Rent” was about that, was a journey of artists and various activists and in the time of AIDS. Lin said apparently, he saw you on the stage at “Angels in America.” I also saw your performance. You were fantastic.andrew garfieldOh, thank you.kara swisherWhat do you think he saw in that performance? Talk a little bit about that performance. Because “Angels” is really quite a show. And it’s in two parts. It’s a very heavy lift of a show for an actor, and especially your part.andrew garfieldYeah, it’s eight and half hours. It’s by the great Tony Kushner. He named it “A Gay Fantasia on National Themes.” And it’s set during the AIDS crisis, as you said. And it follows a group of people who are trying to figure out how to live in the tension of life and death and heaven and hell and, you know, not just how to survive, but to actually live. And, yeah, I play a character called Prior Walter who ultimately has to decide whether he wants to live or die.kara swisherHe has AIDS.andrew garfieldYeah, and, yeah, it’s this incredible kind of soul-wrenching journey and vocally very, very challenging. Yes, I never sung before. But I did manage to get through eight shows a week for a year and a half on and off and not miss a show. And I think Lin saw that and thought, well, if he has some sense of pitch, if he’s not totally tone deaf, then this — he could be my guy.kara swisherFor this one.andrew garfieldFor “tick, tick…BOOM!”kara swisherHad you seen “Rent.” I can’t imagine you were old enough. But I don’t know how old you are.andrew garfieldI’m 38. No, I wasn’t. But I’ve seen the production and the film and, obviously, just a huge admirer of Jonathan in his writing and in his — you know, he wasn’t singing to sound pretty. He was an activist with all the rest of his friends. He was trying to save people’s lives. And the mystery of the fact that he died so young. He dies at the age of 35 and just before the first night of the first preview of the off-broadway production of “Rent.”kara swisherYep, I’ll never forget that.andrew garfieldHe was about to finally get the harvest of the seeds that he had been planting for the last 35 years. He passes away. I find that so moving. Like it speaks to the more spiritual dimension of what we’re doing here. And I think the thing that people, like our friends in the tech world, kind of need an education in — and it’s funny, I feel like people in the tech world, a lot of them seem to have big come-to-Jesus moments. And end up going to Esalen and going on silent retreats and, you know, hanging out with gurus in India —kara swisherThat’s just Jack Dorsey. Just so you —andrew garfieldThere’s a few I’ve come across.kara swisherMarc Benioff does, yeah, you’re right. There’s a couple. Yeah, that’s all narcissistic, just so you know.andrew garfieldThis is what I wonder, you see?kara swisherGood for them. Yeah, yeah, well, don’t wonder. Let me give you that piece of information right now. Lin-Manuel Miranda said that “Rent” and Larson, which is the character you play, were hugely inspirational for him. Like Larson, he was once a struggling songwriter.Obviously, “Hamilton” was his game-changer. Do you think it was a personal story for him? And did it feel like you were portraying both Lin and Larson? Do you think that was what it was about for him?andrew garfieldYeah, absolutely, I think that there is no — well, there’s no Jonathan Larson without Stephen Sondheim. And there’s no Lin-Manuel Miranda without Jonathan Larson and Stephen Sondheim. So it felt like an ancestral honoring for Lin.You know, I remember, he showed me the first cut of the film. Because we were rea l— we’ve been such incredible collaborators on this. And I just was so moved by the film. And I was weeping. And I said, I called him I was like, dude, I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for honoring your actors. Thank you so much for honoring my interpretation of John.And he was so relieved. And he said, oh buddy, I’m so happy to hear that. And no offense, but I had much bigger fish to fry because I don’t want to be haunted by the ghost of Jonathan Larson for the rest of my life for fucking up his story. And it’s also, again, because it’s so personal to Lin, the more personal it becomes for the storytellers, the more personal it becomes for an audience.So suddenly, you know, it’s Lin’s life, it’s my life, it’s any actor’s life, it’s any artist’s life, it’s any playwright’s life. It’s any person who has felt called to be a lawyer’s life. It’s about vocation. And it’s about challenge. And it’s about struggle. It’s about salmon swimming upstream into your own life, into your own destiny.And so yeah, but that’s what Lin does. He makes it so damn personal. There’s a great moment in the film where in the middle of a fight between myself and my girlfriend, we almost make up. And we’re about to get really close again. And then suddenly —archived recording (susan)Oh my god.[MUSIC PLAYING] Now it’s out in the open. You’re thinking about how you can turn this into a song, aren’t you?[MUSIC PLAYING]archived recording (jonathan)No. What?andrew garfieldJonathan, the character I play, starts writing a song in his head. And he gets caught at it by his girlfriend. And Lin showed it to all of his writer friends. And they all just crumbled and covered their faces. And they said Lin, you can’t show them that, you can’t show them something so true in our lives. And it was, yeah, it’s beautiful.kara swisherYeah, writers are always selling someone out. That’s how you — I think Joan Didion — I think it’s a Joan Didion quote. You don’t trust anyone who’s a writer of any type not to subsume every single part of their lives into their art.One of the things I thought you did nail, when they show pictures of Larson himself, his manic energy — he had incredible manic — I remember seeing him. You could feel both desperation and promise coming off of him almost all the time. Like he had to make it, he had to make it. How did you channel that? Because he was a unique — you kind of start to think of what he could have made next.andrew garfieldYeah, I mean, it’s a profound question because he was living in a profound edge, I think. And for me, in my interpretation, it’s absolutely linked to how young he was when he passed away. That manic energy, that turned up to an 11 all the time, that inability to sleep, that, as you said beautifully, that mix of desperation and promise feels to me absolutely linked to this unconscious knowing that he didn’t have a lot of time.kara swisherReally?andrew garfieldYeah, that’s the mysterious way I think the unconscious works. Otherwise, what was this ticking? It wasn’t about him turning 30. It wasn’t about his girlfriend’s biological clock. It wasn’t about the lack of achievement he had made. Those are all superficial. There’s a deeper conversation happening.And there was a line in the original “tick, tick…BOOM!” which they had to cut after he passed away because it felt far too painful for people to hear. And the line was, “Sometimes I feel like my heart is going to explode.” And it’s a prophecy for the aortic aneurysm, the Marfan syndrome that they discovered after he passed away. For a healthy young guy to die at 35, it was as if — and this is me being kind of a spiritual woo-woo actor type, but it’s like —kara swisherThank you for doing that from California, especially. You’re in Malibu, right? Perfect.andrew garfieldYeah, I’m afraid so. But no, I feel like he knew. There was a knowing. There was as if the theater gods didn’t let him sleep, kept on sending him melodies and inspiration to say, hey, you don’t have a lot of time. We need you to deliver “Rent” because the world needs your gifts. The world needs this opus of yours.kara swisherRight. In part, this is a love letter to Stephen Sondheim too. And Larson was heavily influenced and mentored by him. How did you think about that part of it? Because that was a key relationship. Obviously, Sondheim is the godfather to all these people in a lot of ways, the modern American musical.andrew garfieldYeah, I mean, well, obviously, everything has changed in the wake of his death, you know. Not that we ever took Stephen Sondheim for granted, but before he passed, yeah, him being this kind of lionized, kind of iconic figure in Jonathan Larson’s — I get a symbol, a symbol of the ultimate mentorship.And, of course, in the wake of his passing, it’s even more moving. Because the voice message that we hear at the end of the film, Lin shows the film to Steve. And Steve responds by saying, “You’ve treated me kindly and royally. And for that, I am eternally grateful.” Pause. “I do have one or two notes.”kara swisherOf course.andrew garfieldAnd he said, you know the voice message that the actor playing me, Bradley, leaves for Jonathan at the end of the film to encourage him? I just don’t think I would use that kind of language. I’ve written something as another option for you. I’ve recorded it for you. Feel free to use it if you can’t get Bradley Whitford to come in and do his looping lines. So Lin received this voice recording. And it’s Stephen Sondheim’s voice in our film.[RINGING][BEEP]archived recording (stephen sondheim)John, Steve Sondheim here. Rosa gave me this number. I hope it’s OK I’m calling you.andrew garfieldLeaving this voicemail for, of course, Jonathan and for me, but also for every young artist that watches this film, it’s like they have their own little personal encouragement from one of the great artists of any time, and specifically, arguably the greatest musical theater artist ever.archived recording (stephen sondheim)The main thing, though, is that it’s first rate work and has a future. And so do you. I’ll call you later with some thoughts, if that’s OK. Meanwhile, be proud.[CLICK][MUSIC PLAYING]kara swisherYou know, it’s interesting, this urgency, especially in the face of mortality, is something that carries through this film rather. And because we know it now what happened to him, most people know that this guy wasn’t going to be able to realize his genius much longer kind of thing. And it does added poignancy to what he created because it was so beautiful. When you think about the impact of death — and you were just on Stephen Colbert talking about losing your mom of cancer just recently.My dad died when I was five. So I have a little bit of — and I save death quotes all the time. I use it to inspire myself. I listen to Steve Jobs’ speech about death like every couple of months, essentially. So it informs me a lot too.But it was very touching when Colbert asked you about losing your mom. And you said, I hope this grief stays with me because of all the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her. If you don’t mind, I’m going to play a clip of that.andrew garfieldPlease.archived recording (andrew garfield)I got to sing Jonathan Larson’s unfinished song while simultaneously singing for my mother and her unfinished song. And I’m indebted to John. And I — and I’m indebted to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I’m indebted to everyone who’s brought me to this place so that I can honor the most beautiful person that I’ve ever experienced in my life through my art and use it as a way to heal, use it as a way to sew up the wounds.kara swisherSo tell me about your mother. What you would you like her to be remembered as, besides sewing up the wounds —andrew garfieldOh, man.kara swisher— which is a beautiful metaphor, actually. We got a lot of wounds though.andrew garfieldYeah, well, then those are the things that — what is that great Mary Oliver line from “Wild Geese,” “Tell me about despair, yours, and I’ll tell you mine.” The kind of community in sorrow, the community in being human and the woundedness that we all share. And, again, it’s about descent, to descend into our wounds and to heal them is the only way through.And, again, this obsession with ascension, this obsession with — lengthening life rather than deepening life I find quite alarming and upsetting. My mom was someone who was a pantheistic. She saw God in all things. And I say God, I mean the interconnectedness, the everything. And the poem that she wanted read at her memorial was, “Do not stand by my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep,” which is obviously a classic and absolutely perfect and beautiful.She was someone that had such a lack of ego. She was someone that just wanted to serve others. She was someone that knew we’re here and then we’re not. And we are the actions and the — maybe the most important word, which does choke me up — is the kindness that we leave behind. Because she was and is — because I know this too — she’s not gone.She is still here. Her kindness lives in me, in my brother, in my father, in every one that she ever met and in everyone that I have ever met. Because her influence on me is inevitably so great. And I’m so grateful for it.Because she really was the best of us. And I think her legacy is a legacy of kindness, a legacy of compassion, a legacy of gentleness, a legacy of a very small, invisible, huge life of love and kindness.kara swisherThat’s a lovely elegy for her. When you think about what that means going forward here, you’ve played someone who left too soon, what do you think about work ahead? What do you think your focus should be?andrew garfieldThat is the essential question of late, how are we supposed to spend our time? And I think it is absolutely unique in terms of how each of us answer that. I like that idea that we all have a specific thread that we hold on to, to weave into this tapestry and to weave into this kind of community of life that we’re a part of.For me, I just want to continue telling stories that are life-affirming, death-affirming, actually. As you say that you remind yourself of Steve Jobs’ incredible words around death and any other gurus that have great insight about that final adventure.kara swisherYou know, there’s an app — you should get it — We Croak.andrew garfieldWe Croak?kara swisherIt’s a little frog. And it gives you death quotes.andrew garfieldOh, that’s amazing.kara swisherAnd it reminds — I’m going to have to — I have to read this to you. I’m sorry. This says, “In Bhutan, they say contemplating death five times daily brings happiness.” Which, it does.andrew garfieldI dig it. We Croak is a genius and hilarious. I absolutely love it. But and also, you know, I think about some of the people we’ve been talking about. I think about Sondheim. I think about Lin. I think about one of my mentors, Mike Nichols, the great filmmaker and improv actor and genius of his time.And the three of them have something in common. And that it’s two legacies. One legacy is the work that they left behind and kind of the medicine in that work, the beauty of that work, the healing in that work. But then they were all — and Lin is this as well at a young age — incredible mentors to a whole generation of artists. And I think to train my eye on that feels really, really good. And it’s begun to happen where young actors are asking questions of me in terms of how to pursue this crazy profession and this crazy calling. Because I think you can do a kind of spiritual check on the culture by the art that it’s producing or, you know, you look at the last administration in the White House and the lack of art in that environment. And you go, oh yeah, there’s a soul sickness there. It’s evident.kara swisherYou know, Elon Musk thinks we’re, of course, all in a simulation. This is this is a video game being played by teens of the future. And they’re fucking with us almost constantly. And Trump is just the latest thing in the game, essentially, which is kind of a scary thought.andrew garfieldWell, that’s a sure fire way to disassociate and feel a lack of responsibility for any of your actions. That’s a lovely justification.kara swisherOh, I like you going for Musk, good for you. Do not do that to him on social media. He seems to have a few friends there and does rather well at it. Anyway, let me ask you one last question. If you had to pick any role that you could do right now, is there any story you want to tell?andrew garfieldOh wow, you just stumped me. Let me say something first about Elon Musk because I feel like I’ve been unfair. Because I don’t know him. I’ve never met him. I never sat with him.I would be fascinated to. And I’m obviously just going off of my interpretation and, you know, a kind of a superficial look. Because, you know, I don’t want to be judgmental. I’m just kind of, I’m fascinated by the discourse. And I’m fascinated by the people that are shaping our culture right now.I just find it absolutely fascinating. And it’s important. It’s important that we don’t idolize anyone, any human being. And we see what happens. And we see what’s happening in Ukraine right now, this incredible president who refuses to be idolized. He’s totally meeting the moment with humility and with self-sacrifice. So I think that an example of that kind of humility and that kind of actual leadership is really humbling without ego seemingly being the main driving center and force.In terms of a story I want to tell or — you know, it’s a weird moment, Kara, because I’ve been working quite relentlessly for the last couple of years. And I’m very, very proud of the work that I’ve created, especially with “tick, tick…BOOM!,” that, you know, it does speak of my soul. Maybe this is important to say, I feel a little bit like — not to compare myself to such a genius, but Simone Biles just kind of going, you know what? I don’t think I can do this vault. I’m getting the bends, I’m getting the spins. I need to just kind of sit down, support my fellow gymnasts, and maybe sit the next couple of plays out.And I think it’s maybe important to talk about as well. Because we don’t often give ourselves the opportunity to just to look at the horizon and be a human being rather than a human doing. And I definitely feel like I’m in a season of being and just kind of contemplating and supporting the loved ones around me and having a life and being a bit of a private Andrew for a while. That’s the next project maybe is just to kind of do some personal healing and personal kind of work with just with myself.kara swisherWell, that’s an excellent role, obviously. That’s the best role you could do. Thank you so much.andrew garfieldYeah, likewise.kara swisher“Sway” is a production of New York Times Opinion. It’s produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe, and Wyatt Orme with original music by Isaac Jones, mixing by Sonia Herrero and Carole Sabouraud and fact-checking by Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Special Thanks to Shannon Busta, Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski. The senior editor of “Sway” is Nayeema Raza. And the executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Irene Noguchi.If you’re in a podcast app already, you know how to get your podcasts. So follow this one. If you’re listening on The Times website and want to get each new episode of “Sway” delivered to you, along with a rotten head of fish, download any podcast app, then search for “Sway” and follow the show. We release every Monday and Thursday. Thanks for listening.

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