‘The Social Network’ to ‘Spider-Man’: Does Andrew Garfield always play the victim?


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Poor Andrew Garfield.

No, we’re not talking about his being shut out of the Oscar nominations for supporting actor for his role in ‘The Social Network,’ nor his losing out to Christian Bale at the Golden Globes. Rather, Garfield seems to be the go-to star for casting agents wanting beaten, broken underdogs cast out by a cruel societal, political or social pecking order -- not to mention that his stage credits include the male half of the famous star-crossed lovers in ‘Romeo & Juliet.’

So when photos of new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield hit the, um, Web, adjectives like ‘tortured’ or ‘damaged’ were quick to surface. As 24 Frames’ Steve Zeitchik pointed out, ‘It’s dicey to read too much into one image, but there’s something unmistakably shoegazing about the image -- perhaps because he actually seems to be gazing at his shoes -- and even a little anti-heroic.’


For a quick refresher on Garfield’s tortured on-screen past, click on the gallery at left. But fair warning: Spoilers await those not initiated with our new friendly neighborhood crime-fighter’s resume.

-- Whitney Friedlander

Photos from left: Andrew Garfield in ‘Never Let Me Go,’ credit: Alex Bailey / Fox Searchlight; ‘Spider-Man,’ credit: John Schwartzman / Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. via Getty Images; and ‘The Social Network,’ credit: Merrick Morton / Columbia Tristar