"We Are All Sacred, And We All Belong:" Tony Award-Winner Andrew Garfield Dedicates His Win To The LGBTQ Community
Award-winning film and theater actor Andrew Garfield sent an inspiring message onstage at the 72nd Tony Awards: the importance of protecting the human spirit, and the need to honor LGBTQ individuals who fought and died to protect this spirit.
Earning his second Tony nomination and first Tony award, Andrew bagged the coveted award of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play for his portrayal of Prior Walter in the critically acclaimed revival of 90s hit, Angels in America.
The two-part play, which collectively runs for a whopping eight hours, trains the spotlight on the struggles of living life as a closeted gay man during a conservative, Reagan-run America. Pressing issues of the era—which, hauntingly, remain to be pressing issues of present-day society—including HIV/AIDS, coming out, maintaining relationships, and breaking down stigmas and taboos attached to homosexuality were the production's driving forces.
In addition to Andrew's win, Angels in America made history by becoming the most Tony-nominated play in history. Of the 11 awards it was nominated for, the Marianne Elliott-directed performance came home with the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for Nathan Lane's portrayal of political figure Roy Cohn, among others.
Upon receiving his award, Andrew made it a point to thank his cast members and crew onstage, and most outspokenly, dedicate his win to the world's LGBTQ community.
The 34-year-old went on to say the following:
"It is the profound privilege of my life to play Prior Walter in Angels in America because he represents the purest spirit of humanity and especially that of the LGBTQ community.
It is that spirit that says no to oppression, it is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion. It is a spirit that says we were all made perfectly and we all belong. So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ who have fought and died to protect that spirit. To protect that message for the right to live and love as we are created to. We are all sacred. Let's just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked!"
Andrew's cake comment was made in reference to a recent Supreme Court ruling whose verdict was made in favor of a Colorado-based baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple.
More so, Andrew expounded his sentiments backstage with the LA Times by further highlighting the play's relevance in our society that he described as being plagued by an "epidemic of a lack of connection of ourselves and each other." Calling the times we live in as culturally lost, he had no qualms about pointing a finger to the US President, indirectly calling him the antithesis of his play's message.
Andrew has also called being tapped as a cast member in the play a true privilege, ultimately realizing the true fragility of existence, and now more strongly empathizing with those society has cast out, ostracized, and made to feel de-valued, most especially the LGBTQ community.
Andrew Garfield was previously nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman.
Photo from @angelsbway