“To satisfy yourself, you have to do something that means something to you, and you’re not making decisions based on anything outside of what you want to express,” so says the new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield, at last night’s LA Times Young Hollywood Roundtable sponsored by AFI Fest. He was joined onstage by fellow Young Hollywood heavyweights Carey Mulligan and Jesse Eisenberg, his co-stars from “Never Let Me Go” and “The Social Network”, respectively, for a lengthy conversation about their roles, what keeps them excited to go to work and a plethora of other subjects. Below are some highlights from the evening.
Andrew Garfield on whose career he would like to emulate:
In “The Social Network”, Eisenberg and Garfield had the daunting task of portraying real people who are alive but not accessible to them for research. Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg is a well-known public figure, yet private, while Eduardo Saverin, ex-best friend to Zuckerberg and co-founder of Facebook, played by Garfield, is completely untraceable. “Yeah, he doesn’t live on earth,” joked Garfield. “Richard Branson hooked him up.”
Garfield dispels any “horror stories” about director David Fincher’s infamous “99 takes” shooting style, explaining that it’s actually quite freeing and it’s a technique used to “beat the acting out of actors” so emotions and actions feel natural rather than rehearsed. In turn, actors feel free to make mistakes and try different things, knowing they don’t have a time or take limit.
Eisenberg’s cousin works at Facebook and gave him an anecdote about what happened when Zuckerberg rented out a theater in Palo Alto and took his staff to see the movie.
Eisenberg credits his pursuit of acting as a profession to the success of his first movie at age 18, which exceeded his expecations.
Mulligan’s childhood dream was actually be to be on Broadway, “with lights around my mirrors and a fire escape”, and after accomplishing that, she attended an open casting call for 2005 Keira Knightley starrer “Pride and Prejudice”, was cast as Kitty Bennett, and the rest is history. She still loves the experience and cries when filming wraps. Garfield finds the most exciting aspect of the job is that an actor is “never satisfied. You can do it forever and never be satisfied.”
Mulligan, arguably the most famous of the three, talks about how little actually changes after becoming an Academy Award nominee. “It’s fun seeing that in the trailers!” she quips, but insist that she still has to audition and fight for roles she wants.