10 Great Andrew Garfield Performances

Spider-Man's illustrious past

Never Let Me Go (2010)

The Role: In this British dystopian sci-fi drama, Garfield plays the dim, impetuous yet well-meaning Tommy, a young man who unwittingly gets himself caught up in a love triangle with two girls (Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightly) while discovering his grim purpose at the unsettling boarding school he lives in.

Movie Star In The Making? As Tommy, Garfield gives his most raw and engrossing performance yet. Essentially Tommy is a supporting player but the engaging Garfield forces his way into viewers’ hearts, particularly in one emotionally explosive scene where Tommy breaks down in pure anger and frustration.

Boy A (2007)

The Role: The powerful and controversial television film Boy A gave Garfield the opportunity to sink his teeth into an extremely complex character. He plays the eponymous Boy A, a young man who attempts to shed his identity and re-enter society, leaving a heinous childhood crime behind him.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield demonstrates his impressive range and diversity as an actor by completely inhabiting this character and turning out an unnervingly real performance. Also, very few twenty-something actors could match and even surpass the always-brilliant Peter Mullan – not only did Garfield achieve this effortlessly, but he also swiped a television BAFTA for his efforts.

The Social Network (2010)

The Role: Garfield played Eduardo Saverin, a co-founder of Facebook who felt the true swings and roundabouts of entering into friendship and business with Mark Zuckerberg.

Movie Star In The Making? Alongside the complex Zuckerberg – a dream of a character for Jesse Eisenberg to play with – and Justin Timberlake as the charismatic and wild Sean Parker, the less interesting and lesser known Saverin could have become lost in the fray if another actor had filled his shoes. However Garfield rose to the challenge, building great chemistry with Eisenberg, making Saverin both sympathetic and menacing, and delivering some of the film's most memorable lines, in a flawless American accent.

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974 (2009)

The Role: Garfield was gifted the lead role in the opening chapter of David Peace’s dark Red Riding trilogy, which unfolded on television screens in early 2009. He played Eddie Dunford, a young, cocky and naïve Yorkshire Post reporter who digs a little too deep when investigating a schoolgirl’s disappearance.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield is excellent as the reckless Dunford, a force of moral righteousness in a flawed and misdirected shell. Although his role does not recur after the 1974 chapter, his portrayal and tense exit leaves a lasting impression throughout the trilogy. Not only did Garfield turn out another smashing performance, but he also illustrated a desirable ability to look like he comfortably belongs in any era. Just look at those sideburns.

I'm Here (2010)

The Role: In this gem of a Spike Jonze short, Garfield plays Sheldon, a Los Angeles based robot who learns a thing or two about love and sacrifice when he meets the exciting yet accident prone Francesca.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield manages to ooze enough geeky charm to make Sheldon painfully endearing, giving the robot subtle streaks of humanity and personality, yet maintaining the feeling of an outsider struggling to comprehend his world. Quite the achievement with his face replaced by a CGI-ed box.

The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus (2009)

The Role: In The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus , Garfield had his work cut out as the goofy Anton, a rival suitor for Lily Cole, going up against the charm of Health Ledger, Jude Law, Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell all rolled into one.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield does a sterling job of keeping the hopeless romantic Anton on the right side of annoying while also holding his own against a collection of Hollywood A-listers. Plus, Gilliam’s Parnassus is also a great opportunity to see Garfield don some oversized drag who doesn’t want to see that?

Lions For Lambs (2007)

The Role: In one of three interwoven stories surrounding a US military presence in Afghanistan, Garfield portrays a talented yet disillusioned West Coast university student caught up in an intense discussion with his idealistic, well-meaning professor (Robert Redford).

Movie Star In The Making? It was never going to be easy to make an impression in a cast that includes Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise. However Garfield provides a strong support, taking his character beyond a clichéd apathetic and troubled teenager and giving the audience a soul to root for.

Air (2009)

The Role: It’s pleasing to see that, even with feature film parts trickling in, Garfield continued to explore more interesting and varied roles elsewhere. In this Luke Davies short, he features as Tom, a student traveller whose meeting of a young boy on a lonely stretch of Texan road changes his life forever.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield provides an energetic yet sensitive and vulnerable performance as a man whose very own reality begins to unravel around him. Again, the actor also demonstrates his ability to spark chemistry with a variety of co-stars.

Doctor Who (2007)

The Role: Like most British young bucks on their way up the acting ladder, Garfield took a role in Doctor Who (an Equity card requirement these days?). He portrayed Frank, a young Tennessee man caught up in a dalek invasion in 1930s New York.

Movie Star In The Making? Although his attempt at an accent was not as convincing as in later roles, Garfield still managed to stand out in a typically large Doctor Who ensemble, demonstrating his striking ability to be a team player.

Sugar Rush (2005)

The Role: Long before Lenora Crichlow was (quite literally) running around in Noel Clarke-penned films she was the explosive Maria Sweet, the object of teenage lesbian Kim’s desire in popular E4 drama Sugar Rush . Our man Andrew Garfield popped up as Kim’s awkward and stalkerish neighbour.

Movie Star In The Making? Garfield started utilising his nerdy charisma from the very beginning of his career, smoothly making the essentially quite creepy and desperate Tom, likeable and somewhat adorable, despite a truly awful haircut.

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