Never have I ever interviewed a pair of talented actors and creators that are so in awe of each other’s talent, than when I spoke to Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield from Netflix’s Tick, Tick…Boom! Because, while they did spend time talking about the lead character’s journey and why you should check this musical out on Netflix, even if you’re not a big fan of musicals, it was clear from the first word that these two hold each other in the highest regard.
Take for example, Andrew Garfield. When asked about working with Miranda, he instantly jumped into a story. “When I heard that Lin wanted to talk to me about doing something creative together, my immediate answer was, “Yes.” whatever it was because he’s one of my creative heroes. And I was right in the thick of my obsession with Hamilton and just my total awe of him as a creator.”
And as time passed by and he got to know him as a man and as a human being, the more the veil of “this is my hero” started fading away and he came to know Miranda as a true friend. “How I imagined him to be just evaporated, and I just started to be with him as a friend and as a fellow human being. And I was so shocked and surprised by how easy it was to just be with him, to love him, and feel loved by him.”
Honestly, just the way that Garfield described Miranda makes us want to get to know the director and just see these two in action. And the feeling is absolutely returned by Miranda.
When we talked about Garfield, Lin-Manuel Miranda couldn’t help himself and fell into a story about the first time he realized that this was the actor that needed to play the lead in Tick, Tick…Boom! Miranda recounted by saying, “I knew that Andrew Garfield was meant to play Jonathan Larson when I saw him in Angels in America. I had never seen such a fearless performance on stage in my life. I knew I needed that kind of intensity to play Jonathan Larson.”
And just like Miranda was being pushed out of his comfort zone, taking the helm of a movie like Tick, Tick…Boom!, so was Garfield. Miranda recounted, “I pushed him out of his comfort zone a little bit. He’s singing and he’s playing the piano. But he knew that he wanted to do that. He knew those were ways that he wanted to express himself that he hadn’t had the opportunity to do. And I knew that if he wanted to do it, he could do it, because I just left Angels in America thinking, “That guy could do anything!”
Ultimately, Tick, Tick…Boom! was…no, is a joyous collaboration between two incredibly talented men who understood their limitations, their ranges, and opened themselves up to new experiences behind and in front of the camera. Or like Miranda liked to say, “I know a little something about how musicals work and we met in the middle and we just tried to find Jonathan Larson at every stage of the journey.”
At this point, I’d expect you to be utterly convinced to watch Tick, Tick…Boom! But just in case you’re still on the fence, Garfield has you covered. His character Jonathan Larson is a young man about to hit his 30th birthday and who feels like he hasn’t accomplished anything in comparison to his heroes who have had jobs, families, and productions on Broadway before the age he’s about to hit.
For Garfield, playing such a character was a profound experience that showed him a lot about what it means to be alive, finding purpose in that living, and pushing through the terrifying bits and bobs that come with living. “What’s profound about this story and what’s profound about living is that I think it only gets profound when we accept that we’re only here for a short period of time and that it’s finite; that we’re all heading the same way and that death is knocking all the time.”
And honestly, he couldn’t have said it any better.
Tick, Tick…Boom! takes you on a journey where loss and pain transform into something that we can all understand: that we are here for a purpose and that the less time we spend fearing it or trying to figure out what it is, the quicker we’ll find it and have a better, happier, and more fulfilling life. That’s what Miranda, Garfield, and myself saw in this movie. And it’s what we hope you see in it when you watch it on Netflix on November 19, 2021.