The GQ Men of the Year Awards were held last night, with Andrew Garfield among those being honored. He’s “The Idol” of the year and has an appropriately hunky photoshoot to go with it. Lainey emailed me about how hot he is in the spread, so I was expecting a piece of fluff journalism to go with it, but Garfield’s interview is thoughtful, measured, and quite deep. There’s a total disconnect between the tone of the photos and the tone of the interview. Speaking of the photos, though, what…what is the story here? Is it “future Jesus in the desert”? Or “mall mannequin’s big adventure”? These photos are bonkers. But yes, Garfield looks great.


Contradicting the thirst-trappy style of the photos, though, his interview is a lot about his busy past year, with films The Eyes of Tammy Faye and tick, tick…Boom!, the latter for which he received his second Oscar nomination. There was also the miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven, for which he got his first Emmy nomination. And, of course, he donned the spandex once again as one of the variant Peter Parkers in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the sixth-highest grossing movie of all time. Busy year!

But he’s also clearly still dealing with the death of his mother in 2019, a subject he has spoken openly about in the past. It is almost the one-year anniversary of this clip:



I find Garfield’s thoughts on death and grief particularly apt right now, as we continue the public mourning period that is Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. I’ve been thinking about grief off and on since seeing that film, and Garfield’s words distill such a beautiful sentiment: “I got to continue singing her unfinished song.” I like this better than the borderline trite “What is grief but love preserving” line from WandaVision. Garfield’s sentiment encompasses the idea that death represents an unfinished life, but our loved ones can keep adding to our story even after we’re gone. And talking about his dad building a garden, how “making a garden is plenty”. It reminds me of Nakia’s lines in Wakanda Forever, about needing to go away and “break”. Like Ryan Coogler said, that’s not always real life, but maybe making a garden is enough. Maybe the garden IS the break.

But that’s where the cognitive dissonance with the photos comes in. I wonder if they did the photoshoot first? I would love an oral history about how Andrew Garfield gave such a heartfelt, contemplative interview and then did THIS photoshoot. You know what these photos remind me of? That old Details photoshoot with Chris Pine. There’s nothing wrong with these photos. Lainey is right, Andrew Garfield is hot! But look at THOSE photos and then read THAT interview, and make it make sense. One of these things is not like the other.