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Andrew Garfield: Our favorite victim

By Whitney Friedlander, Los Angeles Times

When a photo of new Spider-Man Andrew Garfield hit the Web, some called it “shoegazing” and “a little anti-heroic.” How his take on the character actually plays out, of course, remains to be seen. But it would seem to fit in well with the actor’s film history of playing beaten, broken underdogs cast out by a cruel societal, political or social pecking order. Here’s a look at some of those more notable roles. (John Schwartzman / Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. via Getty Images)
‘Boy A’
In this British film based on Jonathan Trigell’s 2004 novel, Garfield’s character was arrested as a child for the murder of a classmate (which he may or may not have actually committed). Now he’s all grown up and out of jail, trying to start his life again under an alias. That doesn’t go so well when he saves a girl from a car crash and becomes a hero. But the locals aren’t so keen on forgiving and forgetting, as not everyone wants a rehabilitated felon as a poster child. (The Weinstein Co.)
‘The Other Boleyn Girl’
Garfield was cast as Francis Weston in this Henry Tudor-themed bodice-ripper starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson as the two sisters vying for Tudor’s affections in an attempt to boost their father’s political and social standing. In real life, Weston was one of the men accused of adultery with Anne Boleyn. Sure, they didn’t show it in the movie, but we all know how this would have turned out if they had ...

Photo: Natalie Portman, left, as the famously dethroned and beheaded Queen Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as her considerably less-notorious sister Mary in the 2008 film. (Columbia Pictures / Focus Features)
‘I’m Here’
For director Spike Jonze’s short film based on Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree,” Garfield is a robot willing to sacrifice it all for Sienna Guillory’s freegan music-loving hipster robot, who’s prone to losing appendages. In accordance with the childrens’ book on which it’s based -- and ironically in juxtaposition to his character in “The Boleyn Girl” -- Garfield’s character is left with nothing but a head (or stump). (Absolut)
‘Never Let Me Go’
This 2010 film based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s bestselling novel has Garfield as a human clone hidden from the world via a boarding school before he is forced to complete emotionally and physically wrenching tasks as part of this dystopian world’s circle of life. He also has bad hair. But he does get to go to bed with Keira Knightley and then Carey Mulligan (pictured), so his character’s short life isn’t totally miserable. (Alex Bailey / Fox Searchlight)
‘The Social Network’
Though things might start out chipper in this 2010 film about the early days of Facebook, Garfield’s character is eventually betrayed by his best friend, conned out of a bunch of cash and power, has a crazy girlfriend who sets fire to his apartment and is continually mocked by Justin Timberlake. (Merrick Morton / Columbia Tristar)