It’s hard to imagine, right now, during the Andrew Garfield Renaissance that is currently underway, that at some point, the actor was considered not attractive enough for a role. Yes, Garfield, the British, web-slinging, Mark Zuckerberg-suing, Jonathan Larson-singing hunk whom we all know and love. At the beginning of his career, though, he clearly wasn’t appreciated as the leading man we all now know him to be.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Garfield reminisced about life not long after he graduated from drama school back in the mid to late aughts. “I would have taken anything,” he said about the time, admitting he had a “big spell of unemployment.” Finally, Garfield got an opportunity when he landed an audition for the role of Prince Caspian in the 2008 film, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
“I thought, ‘This could be it, this could be it,’” Garfield remembered. In the end, though, the role went to Westworld actor Ben Barnes. Garfield couldn’t let the loss go, and he admitted he became “obsessed” and began asking his agent why he wasn’t chosen.
“She eventually just broke under my incessant nagging and she was like, ‘It’s because they don’t think you’re handsome enough, Andrew,’” he said. A rough thing to hear, for sure, but Garfield doesn’t seem too broken up about it. “Ben Barnes is a very handsome, talented man,” he said. “So in retrospect, I’m not unhappy with the decision and I think he did a beautiful job.”
Just two years later, and Garfield’s “spell of unemployment” would officially come to an end when he landed the role of Eduardo Saverin in 2010’s The Social Network, and then Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man, allowing his career to truly takeoff. Most likely the casting director for Narnia is really regretting their decision right about now.