In a revealing interview with The New York Times, Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield explained how his work in the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed movie musical Tick Tick…Boom! was a tribute to Garfield’s late mother.
The musical was created by Rent phenom Jonathan Larson, who died in 2001 at just 35. Garfield saw a parallel between the world’s loss of Larson with the death of his mother Lynn from pancreatic cancer in 2019.
“She is someone who showed me where I was supposed to go in my life,” he said of his mother. “She set me on a path.”
Garfield explained, “We lost her just before COVID, just before we started shooting…So, for me, I was able to continue her song on the ocean and the wave of Jonathan’s songs. It was an attempt to honor him in his unfinished song, and her in her unfinished song, and have them meet.”
The actor plays Larson in the adaptation that is the directorial debut of Hamilton creator Miranda. Garfield says, “every frame, every moment, every breath” of the film honors Larson, and his mother.
“I’ve lost people before,” the actor says, “but one’s mother is a different thing. It’s the person that gives you life no longer being here. Nothing can prepare you for that kind of cataclysm…For me, everything has changed.”
Garfield, 35 says he was grateful to be with his mom in the days leading up to his loss, and to support his father and younger brother.
“We had a very amazing connection, and now an audience will know her spirit in an unconscious way through Jon, which I just find so magical and beautiful.”
Tick Tick…Boom! debuts in theaters on November 12, and on Netflix November 19.
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