Andrew Garfield on His Mom and Not Having Kids

Andrew Garfield is reflecting on taking a slightly different path from the one he feels was expected of him. The actor, who is about to celebrate his 40th birthday along with his high-school friends, discussed coming to accept his life’s path in an interview with British GQ. “It’s interesting — I always thought I would be the first to have kids and settle down,” he said, “and they’re all shacked up and a couple of kids deep for the most part. And I’m like . . .”

He went on to muse about what it means to be childless at his age. “Releasing myself from the societal obligation of procreating by the time I’m 40 has been an interesting thing to do with myself,” he said. “Where do I start with why it didn’t happen?” he said, laughing. “No, it’s more about accepting a different path than what was kind of expected of me from birth. Like, by this time you will have done this, and you will have at least one child — that kind of thing. I think I have some guilt around that. And obviously it’s easier for me as a man.”

Garfield admitted he does feel some regret about not having kids yet — more specifically, that his mom, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2019, won’t get to meet them if he does have them. “Life seems to be a perpetual practice of letting sh*t go. Letting go of an idea of how a thing should look, or be, or feel,” he said. “And that one’s a big one [to let go of], because of course I would’ve loved my mum to have met my kids, if I’m going to have kids. And she will. In spirit. She’ll be there for it. I know she’s there, for all the big ones.”

Garfield has had a major few years, starring in “Under the Banner of Heaven,” “Tick, Tick… Boom!,” and “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” and surprising everyone by appearing in “Spider-Man: No Way Home” all over the past 14 months.

For now, though, he’s taking a break from acting, telling Variety in April, “I need to recalibrate and reconsider what I want to do next and who I want to be, and just be a bit of a person for a while.”

That seems to have continued, according to the GQ profile, and some of that is related to his mother’s death, which has shifted his perspective on life. “I’ve been thinking about this a lot, the reason for this weird peace I’ve been experiencing,” he added. “I think the loss of my mum was a big thing. That cataclysm is a forever-reverberating shift into a deeper awareness of reality. Existence. The shortness of this window we have.”

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