Andrew Garfield opened up about grieving his late mother on Monday night’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” sharing a story with the host about how he was able to use his performance as Jonathan Larsen in Netflix’s “tick, tick… Boom!” to honor her.
Garfield lost this mother, Lynn, who died of pancreatic cancer, in 2019, and during his interview segment on “The Late Show,” Colbert asked the actor if his art helped him grieve.
Garfield then launched into a lengthy and heartfelt response, explaining how being in the Netflix film about the life and tragic too-soon death of “Rent” creator and songwriter Jonathan Larson helped him pay a meaningful tribute to his mom. You can watch the video above.
“I love talking about her by the way, so if I cry, it’s only, like — it’s only a beautiful thing,” Garfield said as he began to open up with the late night host.
“This is all the unexpressed love, right? The grief that will remain with us until we pass because we never get enough time with each other, right? No matter if someone lives ’til 60, 15 or 99. So I hope this grief stays with me because it’s all the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her – and I told her every day, we all told her every day,” Garfield continued. “She was the best of us.”
Garfield, who stars in “tick, tick… Boom!” which marks the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, said the role also helped him in healing from grief.
“And for me, I got to sing Jonathan Larson’s unfinished song, whilst simultaneously … singing for my mother and her unfinished song,” Garfield said, taking a brief pause as his emotions rose to the surface. “And I’m indebted to Jon, I’m indebted to Lin-Manuel Miranda, I’m indebted to everyone whose brought me to this place so that I can honor the most beautiful person I’ve ever experienced in my life through my art and use it as a way to heal, use it as a way to sew up the wounds because that’s what we do, right? That’s what we do, that’s what you [Colbert] do every night, you sew up our woulds.”
The film star went on to express his gratitude to the late night host for giving him a platform to speak about his mother.
“Both Jon and my mother were artists and they were warriors for art. They knew the power of art, they knew the power of leaving the world in a slightly more beautiful state than when they found it, so thank you for letting me talk about her,” he said.