There’s no one way to campaign for an Oscar but there are some campaign messages that are more common than others. “Getting ugly for Oscar” is a common one. “Suffering” for Oscar is a storyline we hear a lot – from Leonardo DiCaprio to Jared Leto to Christian Bale to Lady Gaga. By now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’re familiar with the most familiar Oscar angles. Which is why I find the headlines lately about Andrew Garfield so delightful.
Andrew just received a SAG nomination for Best Actor for his performance in tick, tick…BOOM! And it’s looking more and more like he’ll also be nominated for an Oscar in the same category. He also – SPOILER ALERT, although I’m pretty sure by now everyone knows – comes back as Peter Parker in the multiverse in Spider-Man: No Way Home alongside Tobey Maguire, even though he denied up and down and everywhere that he wasn’t involved in the movie. Liar.
He even lied to Emma Stone. That’s the Andrew Garfield news story right now: on the Happy Sad Confused podcast this week, Andrew told host Josh Horowitz that:
“Emma kept on texting me, she was like, ‘Are you in this new ‘Spider-Man’ film?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ She was like, ‘Shut up, just tell me,’ and I kept it going even with her it was hilarious. And then she saw it and she was like, ‘You’re a jerk.’”
That was his commitment to his lie. He even lied to Emma, not just his ex-girlfriend but his CO-STAR in his Spider-Man movies.
And this lie, and his confession about the lying, is the charming way he’s staying in the conversation during award season. Because it’s not like anyone’s actually holding this against him. Of course he couldn’t tell. Of course he had to protect the secret – look at the result, wasn’t it worth it? I mean, I wouldn’t know, I actually haven’t seen No Way Home since I’ve been pretty much on lockdown for the duration of its theatrical run but if the box office is any indication and all the hype about it, well, it was worth it.
But can he lie all the way to the Oscar stage, with the trophy in his hand? It’s possible. I don’t know that there’s a clear surging frontrunner for Best Actor right now. In previous years, for example, there was always one to beat. Joaquin Phoenix, for example, when he was in it for Joker. This year? Seems wide open, no sure bet just yet. So maybe Andrew should keep lying. It certainly hasn’t hurt him.