Forget the Marvel Cinematic Universe: This is the crossover of the century.
Acting golden boy Andrew Garfield had an interview with The Believer recently where he talked in depth over a number of topics dear to him, like grief and poetry. As a stan, I’d like to humbly suggest adding it to the Andrew Garfield canon. It’s a lovely interview where he shares a unique insight into his life, like how he keeps his ego in check by reminding himself that he’s insignificant compared to the moon (“It’s a practice to be constantly remembering the perspective of the moon”) and him processing his mother’s death (“[Sons] have been losing their mothers for thousands and thousands of years, and they will continue to, and you’ve just been initiated into that awareness and into that reality. Some illusion has been lifted. You’re in a realer version of the world now, and it’s painful”).
But my favorite part is where he talks about the poet Ocean Vuong, who wrote the semi-autobiographical novel “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.” Ever the poetry fan, Garfield said that his book was the last thing he read, and also shared an anecdote:
“Before I read his book, I listened to his interview with Krista Tippett [from the podcast ‘On Being’]. I was listening and I was just sobbing. I said to myself, ‘Whoever this person is—one day I’m going to marry this woman.’ And I had no idea that [Ocean Vuong] was a beautiful man, because he has this very sweet, high-pitched tone of voice, and I thought, ‘That’s my future wife.’”
I could see how Garfield got so smitten. Vuong is one of my favorite writers, and his writing is beautiful. Like Garfield, I could tell from listening to the podcast that he has “the tenderest heart, and the most eloquent, poetic soul.” And also like Garfield, I’ve definitely listened to a podcast before and declared that the marry the beautiful human being who was speaking was going to be my future spouse. It’s a vibe. Stars, they’re just like us.
For his part, Vuong shared a snippet of Garfield’s interview on his Instagram story today, Jan. 25. He said, “For the record, yes. If [needed], I will happily be Andrew Garfield’s male wife.” I ship it.
Now, since I’m nothing if not the biggest chismosa, I’m listing down the parts from the Vuong podcast episode that I think got Garfield to proclaim that he was going to marry him:
1. “The body is the ultimate witness to love. And I learned that right away. We don’t say, ‘I love you.’ If we do, we say it in English as a sort of goodbye.”
2. “I think all religions have this — outside of all of the orthodoxy and the rigor of ceremonies, at the center of it is trying to remind us that we will die, and how do we live a life worthwhile of our breath?”
3. “One has to wonder, what is it about a culture that can only value itself through the lexicon of death? I grew up in New England, and I heard boys talk about pleasure as conquest. ‘I bagged her. She’s in the bag. I owned it. I owned that place. I knocked it out of the park. I went in there, guns blazing. Go knock ’em dead. Drop-dead gorgeous. Slay — I slayed them. I slew them.’ What happens to our imagination, when we can only celebrate ourselves through our very vanishing?”
4. “It’s interesting that wisdom often arrives as a warning. I think it’s often something that those in the center, those in power, never know: that before you leave the house, in order to achieve yourself — one sends one’s children to school in order to fulfill their dreams, and in order to do that, you have to be warned that ‘there is a strike against you, by the way, so sink in. Fade away.’”
5. “I think we’ve built shame into vulnerability, and we’ve sealed it off in our culture — ‘Not at the table. Not at the dinner table. Don’t say this here. Don’t say that there. Don’t talk about this. This is not cocktail conversation,’ what have you. We police access to ourselves. And the great loss is that we can move through our whole lives, picking up phones and talking to our most beloveds, and yet, still not know who they are. Our ‘how are you’ has failed us. And we have to find something else.”
Photo screengrabbed from the “Mainstream” trailer
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