Characters in conflict make great drawing subjects and Andrew Garfield was reported to have said, “I’m drawn to conflicted characters,” in the New York Times, while performing the role of Biff Loman in Mike Nichol’s revival of Arthur Miller’s modern classic Death of A Salesman at the Barrymore Theatre on New York’s Great White Way in 2012.
And you don’t get a more tortured soul and role than the character of Biff Loman, the eldest son of the delusional salesman Willy Loman, played by the late, great, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“It’s a wrenching performance, exquisitely calibrated… and the final confrontation, in which the tarnished golden boy tries with desperate futility to make Willy face reality is so devastating that it’s not uncommon to hear sobs in the theatre,” wrote David Rooney in the New York Times. It was a performance that earned Andrew a Tony Award nomination.
Born in Los Angeles but raised in England, Andrew’s short but already impressive stage and screen career had its international breakthrough in 2010 with David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant chronicle of the birth of Facebook, The Social Network, as Eduardo Saverin the most ethical of the operation who was shut out by his co-founders . It was a role that earned him multiple awards attention including Golden Glboe and BAFTA nomination and it was the performance that persuaded Mike Nicols to cast him as Biff, stating “What you see is Andrew’s enormous emotional equipment.”
Sending stuff for signing to Broadway theatres is always a hit and miss affair, so I planned to get Andrew to sign this sketch of him as Biff at the Gala screening of The Amazing Spiderman at London’s Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square at the end of June 2012, after he completed his Salesman run.
Positioning myself at the drop-off point allowed me to get Andrew early as he got out of the car and came directly over to us before the PAs tend to lead the talent away to do press.
Andrew usually has a rapid, minimal sig-even more than this one, so I was very pleased he stopped for a chat and to get this dedication and a more ‘extended’ graph, after which the pushy PA reminded him of the time constraints, to which he retorted, “I’m already using my abbreviated autograph!’ but accelerated his walk after that and his along with his sig.