The year 2021 has reminded everyone of the emotional impact that Andrew Garfield is capable of inflicting on any project in which he is involved. Shortly before his surprise return to Spider-Man: No Path Home, Garfield demonstrated a different set of skills in the Netflix production, Tic, Tic … Boom!, which has been performed in various theaters around the world since the 1990s.

Lin-Manuel Miranda directed the Netflix production of Tic, Tic … Boom!, a semi-auto-biographical account by Jonathan Larson. Larson is perhaps best known for the hit Broadway musical, To rent, which has won a Pulitzer Prize, a Drama Desk Award and numerous Tony Awards. Larson himself played Tic, Tic … Boom! before his death in 1996 as a solo piece. It was rebuilt by David Auburn afterwards, making Tic, Tic … Boom! in a three-actor show. Auburn’s adaptation was performed off-Broadway dating back to 2001.

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In the Netflix production of Tic, Tic … Boom!, Garfield plays Larson. The story follows Larson as he begins his difficult career as an aspiring musical composer in SoHo, New York. Tic, Tic … Boom! begins shortly before Larson’s 30th birthday where he is haunted by how little success he has to show after years of hard work. The story changes between Larson’s performance of Tic, Tic … Boom! during a theater workshop in New York in 1992 and the events highlighted in Tic, Tic … Boom! as pivotal moments in Larson’s life in 1990. Garfield portrays Larson throughout the entire film and demonstrates musical abilities that very few Garfield’s Spider-Man fans would have known.



Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick ... BOOM!

In 2012, Garfield made his Broadway debut as Biff Loman in the Arthur Miller production. Death of a seller. Shortly after concluding his 2018 tour as Prior Walter in Angels in America, he signed to work with Miranda and Tic, Tic … Boom! In the musical, Garfield lends his voice to more than half of the Tic, Tic … Boom! musical numbers, including the emotional “Why” number played after learning that her best friend is HIV positive. This revelation in Tic, Tic … Boom!, various HIV awareness posters, as well as another of Larson’s friends who is shown to face his own diagnosis throughout the film, lends itself to the end result of To rent, which deals with HIV.


Larson’s story is filled with ups and downs, as are the characters around him. Michael and Susan are the main supporting characters of Tic, Tic … Boom!, although there are others. Michael and Susan are both based on real people from Larson’s life. Susan is played by Alexandra Shipp in Tic, Tic … Boom! and is inspired by Janet Charleston, Larson’s partner. Michael is based on Larson’s real friend Matt O’Grady, who is played by Robin de Jesús in Tic, Tic … Boom! Other actors who appear in the Netflix film include Joshua Henry, Vanessa Hudgens, and Bradley Whitford. Whitford portrays the famous musical composer Stephen Sondheim, who mentored Larson throughout his career. Pieces of this relationship are shown throughout Tic, Tic … Boom!, although far from the capacity that was said to be the true nature of their relationship.


As a leader, Garfield has to dig deep to describe Larson’s emotional journey. He struggles to make tough, life-changing decisions: giving up the dream he worked for as a musical composer or subjecting his talents to the grip of a stifling corporate job with little to no escape. creative. On top of that, he also needs to find out how he will integrate Susan and her dreams as a dancer and instructor into his vision. While these life-changing issues lend themselves well to a narrative plot, the truth behind them is a factual reality that many creatives experience. Garfield manages to find the fine line between portraying Larson’s own dilemmas while still being ambiguous enough for other creators to step into the shoes of this semi-auto-biographical character.


Although Tic, Tic … Boom! was released on Netflix at the end of November, the powerful performance given by Garfield and the cast did not go unnoticed. It was one of the American Film Institute’s 10 Best Movies of the Year and was nominated for 2 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, countless Satellite and Hollywood Critics Association Awards, among others. At the Golden Globe Awards 2022, Tic, Tic … Boom! received a nomination for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, but lost the award to Steven Spielberg West Side Story. Garfield himself won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for Tic, Tic … Boom!

Those unfamiliar with the history of Garfield’s theater will be most shocked by his performance in Tic, Tic … Boom! However, even those who largely know Garfield only through his role as Spider-Man in The Amazing Spider-Man series can find elements of its theatrical presence in these films. Garfield’s body language is an important part of his performance as Spider-Man and Peter Parker, using it to help describe the mood of the moment. This fact lent itself well to Garfield’s revelation in No way home, as some recognized Garifield’s emotional body from the start. As the Golden Globes noticed Garfield’s powerful performance in Tic, Tic … Boom! and that the film has already started to be recognized as one of the best films of 2021, the Oscars would be making a mistake by failing to recognize what the film and Garfield delivered.


Tic, Tic … Boom! is now streaming on Netflix.

MORE: 6 Movies You Should Watch If You Liked Tick, Tick … Boom!


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