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From Social Networks to Spider-Men

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Andrew Garfield is about to kick down the door to the A-List only bathroom and wash his hands in the warm water of fame. He stars in The Social Network as Facebook supremo Mark Zuckerberg's ex-best friend Eduardo Saverin, and is about to swing onto our screens as the new Spider-Man. That's why Andrew Dickens made his way to LA to meet him.

So, great film, I assume you’re very pleased with it…

“I haven’t seen it.”

Oh. Well it’s very good.

“Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter. That’s part of my ethos behind not seeing it. I’m trying to deal with the fact that some people might not like things. In theatre I haven’t been able to watch things back, but with film, I’d get so excited because I thought I can finally enjoy something I’m in. But every time all I can see is the holes in my performance and not the cheese. I’m not aware of any cheese. I’m trying to protect myself by not watching any more and letting go, not getting caught up in what people think. It’s really difficult to do!”

That’s going to make this interview a lot harder.

“Sorry!”

Just kidding. The Social Network doesn’t pull any punches in its portrayal of the characters. Was everyone concerned about the risks of playing real people?

“It’s a script based on a real event, but it’s still a script, still a work of imagination. I don’t know who Aaron’s sources were. He obviously used the book and he used sources. I think what’s wonderful is that it’s multi-perspective; everyone’s in the right and everyone’s in the wrong. I think that is so difficult to achieve. Only an incredibly gifted writer can do that and Aaron Sorkin is that.”

Did you Google Eduardo Saverin?

“Yeah, I came up with two photographs. That’s all I had to go on, which was disappointing. I had thought ‘I’m playing a real person who’s my age and still alive. I can steal every aspect of him and put it on screen’. On the other hand, it was very liberating. You have a picture and you project what you think this person might be. The script was genius. Sorkin writes so specifically. The characters are so specifically drawn. It’s like playing Shakespeare or Chekov or Miller. It’s high praise, but I mean it.”

Be honest, did you look at the pictures and compare yourself. Decide who was better looking?

“Ha!”

I know I would.

“Did I? I don’t remember doing that. You try to do things without judging. Of the pictures I saw he was very warm. He seemed comfortable and loose. I linked that to him being Brazilian. Thought he looked really nice. I think he’s an extremely good looking man.”

The film suggests Zuckerberg made Facebook for love. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done for a lady?

“I think people do most things for love. I’ve climbed walls and into windows, broken down locked doors. Stupid stuff. Places that I wasn’t invited.”

Ever serenaded?

“Oh, yeah. Not as eloquently as John Cusack in Say Anything, but yeah, in an ironic way. In a way that I know it would be appreciated. I’ve never killed.”

Not yet…

“Not yet… I wouldn’t rule that out. Loves is an amazing thing, it’s a propellant, it keeps us moving.”

Is David Fincher intense to work with?

“[laughs] Yeah. His ethos, which I totally agree with, is that we’re all here, we’re getting paid, let’s squeeze as much juice out of this as we can, otherwise what’s the point? I’m so lucky to be part of making films, so let’s sing for our supper. But yeah, it’s intense with him. He does multi, multi takes. But he has the freedom to because the studio trusts him; he makes great movies. Plus he’s shooting digitally, so you’re not wasting film. You just delete what you don’t want. He actually does it at the time. It’s very frightening but very liberating.”

Did you have any nights out with Justin Timberlake during filming?

“No. Afterwards, yes, but not during. We didn’t get on. Our characters didn’t get on. Not to say we didn’t get on as people, it’s just that it never came up.”

Semi-method acting? Subconcious method?

“I guess you just want to make things as authentic as possible. I guess I had a subconscious feeling towards him throughout the process. It was intense, but it was really fun. After it each take it’d be [slaps my knee] ‘well done’. But I tried to keep my distance.”

Is he a babe magnet?

“He’s Justin Timberlake! During filming it was hard, but after we began to hang out and we became friends. He’s a genuine down to earth, good human being – a really good person.”

Did you ever hit the dance-floor with him?

“No.”

It’s not really worth trying, is it?

“[laughs] Yeah, I do the dance from Boy A, just drop a pill and see what happens. No, I don’t do drugs. I said to him on numerous occasions that I want him to teach me how to dance, but he hasn’t done it yet. He doesn’t seem to be interested in helping me out with that. He’s busy. He’s tired. I’ll find a different dance teacher.”

Tune back in to ShortList.com tomorrow for the second part of the interview, including why Garfield isn't on Facebook and his most petty argument.

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