Since starring in Netflix’s tick, tick... Boom! and (spoiler!) reprising his role as the Amazing Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home last month, Andrew Garfield has been experiencing something of a well-earned pop culture renaissance. But he wasn’t always the mega-star putting “his whole garfussy into all his roles,” that he is, today.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Garfield revealed that once upon a time, his dream role had been the YA dreamboat Prince Caspian in Disney’s Chronicles of Narnia franchise:
“I remember I was so desperate. I auditioned for Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia and I thought, ‘This could be it, this could be it.’ And that handsome, brilliant actor Ben Barnes ended up getting the role. I think it was down to me and him, and I remember I was obsessed.”
Garfield was naturally curious as to why he was overlooked for the role, and when he pressed his agent about it, he says she didn’t mince words: “She eventually just broke under my incessant nagging and she was like, ‘It’s because they don’t think you’re handsome enough, Andrew.’”
Currently one of the most thirsted-after men on the internet (frankly, you know it’s real when the teens of TikTok start gatekeeping your fanbase), Garfield has no hard feelings about any of it. “Ben Barnes is a very handsome, talented man. So in retrospect, I’m not unhappy with the decision and I think he did a beautiful job,” he said, very graciously.
But while Garfield may be ready to let the snub go, I, for one, have some questions about his agent’s explanation, or at least the explanation she was given by whomever was in charge of casting for Prince Caspian. First of all, do Garfield and Barnes really look all that different, to the extent that one meets an adequate “handsomeness” threshold and the other does not?
Other than their beard-no beard situations in the following photo of two jawlines that could cut glass, I’m basically looking at the same person:
Whatever beef some Narnia casting director may have had with Garfield in the 2000s, he and Barnes are essentially just a couple of nearly indiscernible, gorgeous, gorgeous white men with perfect heads of hair. The only difference I find worth noting between said handsome white men is that only one of them has advocated for a bisexual Spider-Man, and that’s enough for me to declare Andrew Garfield the winner of this round.