Until now, that is.
That's because, as we told you last night, Garfield (Andrew, not the cat) has been cast as Peter Parker in the upcoming reboot of the box office smashing 'Spider-man' franchise. The announcement, which came as a surprise to many (including, apparently, Josh Hutcherson, who just yesterday was widely rumored to have landed the part), has fans of the comics and the films alike asking one simple question: Who is Andrew Garfield? Everyone is familiar with Garfield, the beloved comic strip cat who perpetually torments his owner Jon while dreaming about lasagna. And American history buffs, along with college professors around the country, can tell you all about U. S. President James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881. But when it comes to famous Garfields, chances are that unless you're Andrew Garfield's mom, you've never heard of him.
Until now, that is.
That's because, as we told you last night, Garfield (Andrew, not the cat) has been cast as Peter Parker in the upcoming reboot of the box office smashing 'Spider-man' franchise. The announcement, which came as a surprise to many (including, apparently, Josh Hutcherson, who just yesterday was widely rumored to have landed the part), has fans of the comics and the films alike asking one simple question: Who is Andrew Garfield?
Well, have no fear, because we're on the case for you. Here's your quick fact sheet for the former unknown who is about to step into Tobey Maguire's webbed tights for 'Spider-man 4,' currently scheduled to drop on July 2, 2012:
• A British Peter Parker?! -- Born in California to a British mother and an American father, Garfield moved with his family to England at the age of three. Before you start asking why he isn't filming a Captain Britain film instead, have no fear: Garfield has dual citizenship.
• A Rising Star -- Garfield, who's now 26, rose to prominence at the precocious age of 18 thanks to an acclaimed turn on the stage: In just his second part, he took home a MEN Theater Award as the lead in the Manchester Royal Exchange's version of 'Kes.' His early stage success led Variety to name him one of their 10 young actors to watch in 2007.
• Television and Doctor Who -- Transitioning from the stage to the small screen, Garfield reached the pinnacle of British television when he guest starred in a two-part 'Doctor Who' arc, in which he faced off against the terrifying Daleks, an adventure that should give him plenty of experience when it comes to more mundane Spider-man foes like Mysterio or The Rhino. In 2009 he returned to the BBC in the highly anticipated 'Red Riding' mini-series, where he played a doomed reporter facing off against the devilish Sean Bean.
• 'Boy A' In 2007, Garfield made the jump to feature films, where he co-starred opposite Meryl Streep, Robert Redford and Tom Cruise in the ambitious political flop 'Lions for Lambs.' But he had more success with the British production 'Boy A,' which earned him a BAFTA for Best Actor.
• The Big Time -- For such a young actor still in the early stages of his career, Garfield seems to have a knack for landing in star-studded films: he played alongside Heath Ledger, Jude Law and Johnny Depp in Terry Gilliam's mad fable 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,' while his latest effort, 'The Social Network,' which is slated to debut on Oct. 1, finds him being directed by 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' auteur David Fincher.
How much Garfield learned about the world of comic book filmmaking from Ledger during their time together is unclear, but there's no doubt that Ledger, who sadly passed away before earning an Oscar for this portrayal of The Joker in 'The Dark Knight,' had a major impact on Garfield during their time together on 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.' "We wanted to challenge each other, and Heath was so strong," Garfield told Entertainment Weekly. "He made me fight harder than I ever had, and I'm so thankful to him for it."
Let's hope he took those lessons to heart, because as Spider-man, Garfield's fighting life is just beginning.