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‘Spider-Man’ Star Rips Hollywood Culture: ‘Celebrity is the New Religion’

The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield teed off on corrupt Hollywood culture, Donald Trump, and the pitfalls of fame in a bizarre interview with Vulture this week.

Even before the conversation properly began, Garfield, who was speaking to New York magazine’s culture website about his new film 99 Homes, flashed some inner existential angst not usually heard in a routine promotional circuit interview.

“Why the f*ck am I doing this?” the 32-year-0ld actor asked the outlet. “Coming in today to do interviews, I’m like, ‘Why?’ I know that I’m an actor and it’s part of the job, and I feel lucky I get to do that, but with the interviews, it’s such a weird thing. What do I have to say?”

Perhaps the source of Garfield’s angst is the weighty subject matter of his new film: in 99 Homes, Garfield stars as Dennis Nash, who is evicted from his home during the height of the housing crisis by ruthless Florida real estate magnate Rick Carver (Michael Shannon). When an opportunity arises for Nash to reclaim his home by working for Carver, he discovers the dark side of the American Dream and must ultimately make a choice between success and his own humanity.

When Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan attempted to ask Garfield whether the dark side of capitalism drew him to the movie, the young actor deflected:

“It’s so heavy even talking about it,” Garfield said. “Hearing you talk, I just suddenly feel like my head is wrapped in cellophane. How do we wake up, how do wake up, what do I do? Because I can stand here and be like, ‘We need to f***ing do sh*t.’ I can say that. But if I’m not doing anything, what the f*ck am I really doing?”

When Buchanan suggested that movies could help the public perceive societal problems in another way, Garfield appeared to get testy: “Why don’t you just do this interview? You’re saying the right sh*t.”

After that, though, the actor opened up in a big way, going after News Corp. magnate Rupert Murdoch and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump for “governing the system that isn’t serving the have-nots,” and added that the possibility of Trump winning the White House “scares the sh*t out of me.”

“There’s this culture of separation that’s been created, and it makes me feel sick to walk around big cities and to know the struggles of those who are the least served by the system. The only way things do change is if everyone comes together. It takes everyone to lend who they are, and for me, it’s through storytelling and from being able to talk about the powerless feeling that I’m living in and asking the question, “What power do I have? And then how do I act upon that?”

Garfield also said that despite his massive success with the Amazing Spider-Man franchise (the first film grossed $750 million worldwide, while the sequel grossed just over $700 million), he still doesn’t “feel accepted in this culture.”

“We’re only accepted if we are… well name it,” the actor said. “White… Handsome, charming, charismatic, thin-enough eyebrows to be beautiful, but thick enough to still be masculine. We are told constantly we’re not enough, we’re told constantly that we don’t have enough, we’re told constantly that we’ll never be enough, It’s that dangling-carrot thing.”

“That was my experience with the Spider-Man thing,” Garfield added. “It’s like, ‘Oh, f*ck, my life is now great!’ But in fact, I’m still f***ed up in my own ways, and insecure, and scared, and don’t really know who I am. Celebrity is the new religion, as far as I can see, along with money, power, status. It’s all the same umbrella – the seductive forces of evil, really.”

Check out more from Garfield’s interview with Vulture here. 99 Homes is in theaters now.

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