Andrew Garfield Explains the Painful Reason Why He Never Wants to Play Someone Like Jim Bakker in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ Again

The year 2021 is Andrew Garfield’s year at the movies. He swooned audiences with The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Tick, Tick…Boom! within the past year. As a result, his dynamic range is a repeated conversation in the industry. However, The Eyes of Tammy Faye actor Garfield recently expressed why he never wants to play a character like Jim Bakker ever again.

Is ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ based on a true story?

Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker in 'The Eyes of Tammy Faye' holding a book in front of a microphone
Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker | Searchlight Pictures

The Eyes of Tammy Faye is based on the true story of Tammy Faye Bakker. However, the film embellishes some real-life events. The movie explores how Tammy (Jessica Chastain) and Jim (Garfield) met and their journey to fame through televangelism. However, their differing goals and faith-based corruption create an increasingly dramatic wedge in their marriage.

Michael Showalter directs a screenplay written by Abe Sylvia. The Eyes of Tammy Faye is based on the 2000 documentary of the same name. It premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, where critics gave the film mixed reviews. However, Chastain and Garfield’s performances earned praise.

Andrew Garfield explains why he never wants to play a character like Jim Bakker in ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ again

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Garfield along with Benedict Cumberbatch, Peter Dinklage, Javier Bardem, Oscar Isaac, and Jared Leto. Garfield compared playing Jonathan Larson in Tick, Tick…Boom! with playing Jim in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

“Jim Bakker — I hope to never play someone like Jim Bakker again because it was deeply painful having to tap into that,” Garfield said. “Something that you said earlier, Peter, about a universal sense of fear of being unlovable or fear of being seen so deeply that we will be exposed as … an empty, fraudulent, useless husk of a human being.”

Garfield continued: “From my understanding in the research and my own impression — again, a painting rather than a photograph — he was living in that place of fear constantly, which made it necessary for him to fill up his life with all this excessive material wealth and accouterment and call it Christianity.”

He further called Larson, “the closest thing I’ve ever played to a man of God.” He continued to explain the difference between the two characters.

“Jon Larson was close to the inevitable thing that’s chasing all of us, which is death, which is the ticking that he hears,” Garfield said. “This is how I interpreted it, a kind of unconscious rumbling, that he somewhere knows he’s not got a lot of time here to sing his song. And his song will ultimately remain unfinished, like everyone’s.”

Garfield added: “I think for him, it’s that Martha Graham thing, that divine dissatisfaction thing. It’s that forever reaching towards that perfected image of the thing that we know, that the image inside of us that we know that we are meant to create, the gifts we are supposed to give, in the short amount of time we are here to give it.”

Andrew Garfield is getting awards attention for ‘Tick, Tick…Boom!’

The Eyes of Tammy Faye was a big buzz title earlier this year. However, Tick, Tick…Boom! proved to be the bigger movie. The Netflix musical was on everybody’s lips for its heartfelt story, phenomenal performances, and exceptional music. Garfield’s performance is at the forefront of the conversation, earning him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy.

Garfield is one of the frontrunners to earn an Oscar nomination for Tick, Tick…Boom! This will mark his second Oscar nomination after playing Desmond Doss in 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge. His participation in such awards roundtables will only give him further press to stay in the conversation as the Oscar date approaches.

Tick, Tick…Boom! is currently streaming exclusively on Netflix.

RELATED: ‘Tick Tick Boom’ Movie Review: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Love Letter to Jonathan Larson Is Mostly In Tune [AFI Fest 2021]