In conversation with the BBC’s Newsbeat, Amazing Spiderman actor Andrew Garfield said that he was misunderstood when he said he was gay “without the physical act” earlier in July. The 33-year-old Oscar nominated actor was interviewed about his current role as Prior Walter, a man with AIDS, in a London production of Angels in America.
“That’s of course not what I meant at all,” Garfield said. “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.'”
Garfield’s previous statement was criticized by LGBTQ publications such as Attitude and social media users for pandering to gay male stereotypes. Gay Times reported Garfield made the statement during an interview when an audience member asked how he prepared for his role in Angels.
“As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” Garfield said, coyly adding that he was always open to an “awakening” and “[exploring] that part of the garden.” He thanked his friends in the gay community for helping him learn more as well as “every single series of RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which he would watch with several cohorts on Sunday evenings.
“This is my life outside of this play,” said the star, who famously dated Emma Stone in the past. “I am a gay man right now just without the physical act.”
In late May, Garfield paid tribute to his newfound love of drag performance by performing in the London revue Werq the World, hosted by Drag Race panelist Michelle Visage and featuring several alums of the reality competition series. At the event, he competed in a lip-sync battle where he performed to Whitney Houston’s “I’m Every Woman.” He also toyed with drag for Arcade Fire’s “We Exist” video where he was seen in a blonde wig and white dress roaming around Coachella.
Garfield’s controversial comments echo similar reflections from actor James Franco, who has portrayed many gay characters onscreen. “I’m gay in my art and straight in my life,” Franco once wrote in a magazine article. “I’m also gay in my life up to the point of intercourse.”