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Andrew Garfield Says ‘Gay Man’ Comments Were ‘Taken Out of Context’

”That discussion was about this play and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound,“ actor said July 15

A week after sparking an uproar over his comments that he’s a “gay man right now just without the physical act,” Andrew Garfield clarified his intent, telling BBC’s Newsbeat that the comments were “twisted” and “taken out of context.”

“That’s of course not what I meant at all,” Garfield said to BBC’s Newsbeat on July 15. “That discussion was about this play and how deeply grateful I am that I get to work on something so profound. It’s a love letter to the LGBTQ community. We were talking about, ‘How do you prepare for something so important and so big?’ and I was basically saying, ‘I dive in as fully as I possibly can.'”

Garfield was referring to his playing as Prior Walter in the current West End production of “Angels in America.” During a Q&A at the National Theater in London, he was asked how he prepared for the role.

“As far as I know, I am not a gay man,” he was reported to have said. “Maybe I’ll have an awakening later in my life, which I’m sure will be wonderful and I’ll get to explore that part of the garden, but right now I’m secluded to my area, which is wonderful as well. I adore it, but a big concern was what right do I have to play this wonderful gay role?”

He then later revealed a lot of his preparation for the role came from his friends who are devoted to the LGBTQ community. He also said “RuPaul’s Drag Race” helped him with his character.

“My only time off during rehearsals — every Sunday I would have eight friends over and we would just watch Ru, [RuPaul of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’]” he added. “This is my life outside of this play. I am a gay man right now just without the physical act – that’s all.”

He was strongly criticized for what many LGBT commentators said was a limited view of what being a gay man really is. But, he told Newsbeat, he never intended to be taken that way.

“My only longing is to serve and to keep the world spinning forward for the LGBTQ community in whatever way I’m meant to. It’s important to a community that I feel so welcomed by, he said. “The intention [in my comments] was to speak to that, speak to my desire to play this part to the best of my ability and to fully immerse myself in a culture that I adore.”