For the two weeks until the election I will be posting an open letter every day using the prompts from CAPTAINEVERLAND to provide something nice at a time of heightened conflict and division.
Dear Andrew Garfield,
…I’m sorry if this sounds weird, I can’t really call you “Andrew” because I don’t know you, and calling you “Mr Garfield” sounds so formal to address a person about my age and as friendly as you come across.
I’m writing to you because I have to apologise: I pride myself on being someone non-judgemental, and open to everyone, and then I’ve read the interview you gave to an American Jesuit just after shooting “Silence” and I realised that maybe I’m not as good as I think I am. I was in tears while reading it through, and I’d have never imagined you could have such a depth of feeling.
I have to admit I didn’t really know much of your work. I saw you in the Social Network and I knew you as Spider Man, and of course I saw you in Doctor Who many years ago, and I knew you were Emma Stone’s boyfriend which isn’t work related. That’s pretty much it. I must have seen you in minor roles elsewhere, so minor I can’t really remember that you did them. It’s not that I think you are a bad actor, not at all, but there are actors who really dwell into their characters to bring them out, and people who just seem to have a talent to put a mask on and be someone else without really thinking much about it. For some reason, I thought you were the latter.
That’s why I was surprised to see how much of an effort you put into preparing for such a difficult film, to the point that you seem like the experience changed you beyond what many people who sit in the pews in church with me ever will be. Truth is, I haven’t even done the Spiritual Exercises myself, a cradle Catholic who was baptised 28 years ago, and you spent a year working through them to prepare for a film. And I dare to call myself a Christian. I’m sure I have more to learn about Jesus from you than many others I’d have thought more likely. I would give anything to have been overhearing your conversation with Brendan Busse, or even better to have been there having that conversation with you.
I wonder what happened to you since that conversation. Feelings like those you expressed are rare and must have stayed with you on some level. I can relate to what you said about escaping in books, I wonder in what books you are hiding now. You’re now in London for a play (I wish you great success with it), I wonder if you try to hide at Farm Street from times to times. I imagine dozens of girls hanging around the stage door every day must be daunting. Are you living in a hotel, or sharing a flat with your girlfriend, or are you staying with your family for the time being? If they’re still in Epsom we may have been on the same late train, or it could happen in the future. I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage to walk up to you and say what I wrote here. That’s the thing about open letters, you can be open and vulnerable in them because the person you’re writing to is never going to read it. Maybe I should print this letter and keep it in my bag so if I ever bump into you I can just give it to you and then run away and die of embarrassment out of sight. I’ve thought about coming to the stage door like any other fan and again just give you a letter and go die of embarrassment out of sight. Then I think, would it actually mean anything to you to receive this letter? I’m sure any single Catholic girl under the age of 35 must have already proposed or something. Maybe by now you regret doing “Silence” because it made you the Catholic heartthrob, even if you’re not even Catholic and may never be. Although seriously, you should consider it if you haven’t, you’d make a great one. Better than I am for sure. So yeah, if you ever feel like having a conversation about life, God, and whatever with a complete stranger that writes things on the Internet maybe we could have brunch. I would be delighted. In the meantime, I wish you all the very best, and I’ll make sure to join your Catholic fan club in praying for your every need.
God bless you,