By Asa Montreaux 

It all started with a little kid trapped in Texas. I wrote my name down on IMDb and I made a resume of some of the things I’ve done and I applied to two roles. I got both, though only one was for credit. It was a TV episode and I was paid five thousand dollars. Though only because it turned out to be five episodes. I was gone for a few months, spending every check on rent and things to eat in LA. Eventually I even got credit for the short.

When I came home there was one grand in my account. I felt good thinking the bank had seen it, I think I even heard what I’d had and how that was my salary on tv. I bought a game cube and kept the rest for spending money. I bought books and some clothes that. I suppose I thought were nice. I even gave my father a loan, something that may have been disturbing and something I regret. 

When I ran low, seemingly because someone needed a second loan and it was so he could have something to eat, I landed another role and I was refilled with one grand to make ends meet. While he wandered with that 200 and something dollar sum loan, only to return a month later with the police leading him in. He had gone homeless, they said. He was getting high. My adoptive father.

I paid for meals, went go to the grocery store with his wife. It seemed she’d cooked what she wanted, not what I wanted, and I struggled to tell her I had not liked meat, or the things she liked, though I definitely had not liked things that were less healthy.

Things were going sideways. I was smart and was having sex too much. I’m not sure how those two go together. But I needed a bail out. They didn’t even want to pay for university. I wasn’t clear if I’d make it Harvard on scholarship, or maybe anywhere on high prestige, because someone was continually playing with my marks. He seemed to really like a phone. He’d pick it up and call anyone I knew. Teachers, coaches, employers, producers, friends. 

Everything was a prank and nothing added up at the end of the year, though we still kept track. At the end of the school year I had the highest grade 8 ap science mark in the district. I won 5 thousand dollars, and I used it to rent an apartment in Vancouver. I found it on craigslist and I passed the money to the police so the man didn’t steal it.

They used Western Union and paid in advance. Once we arrived the police handed me and not my parents the keys, and we drove to the apartment. In Vancouver you go to school cheaper, I could pursue other education including where I’d been before, where they knew I was intelligent. And I could easily do online here as well.

Over the summer I attended my old school, West Point Grey Academy. I was pushed through the twelfth grade and graduated. Though my father took the diploma and burned with a lighter.

I didn’t know what to do but I couldn’t get away right then. I’d had a few other roles and I took what I had and ran off to LA. I acted and scraped by. Then I resorted to trading again and I made a bunch. Then someone robbed all my acting money, telling the bank I was too young. He robbed everything I’d earned. Though he left the trading money, seemingly unaware of it. I took it, after my real mom called, and went off to live with her in New Jersey.

So not New York but I was nearby. I started writing and tried to get as many roles as I could. I met people that had connections and I started taking courses at Columbia. They were saying I would graduate even in a couple years and they knew I was only 6 years old.

No one had heard of Andrew Garfield. Though they had. People would say my name around, even more than they would say Andrew McCarthy. After a while I had to go back to Vancouver and try to get everything set up. Before I left I’d purchased a house in Burnaby and with trading I was able to make the down payment. I used some of my savings as well as they let me withdraw some with my mother’s approval. Though the house was in my adoptive father’s name in the end.

I made some inroads and some friends and in a short while Burnaby North decided I could graduate as well. I took off for LA again, though I agreed to sort of take courses and go through the motion as these adoptive parents were having a hard time believing anything. And that could start translated into a lot of people not believing me.

In LA I was having trouble getting credit in my name for the things I was doing. They always made me change my name to something else and that was fine. But it wasn‘t because they were all adding up to something lesser. Sometimes they even told me I’d never make it. They seemed to always think this. 

Fast forward a couple years and I was stuck in Burnaby for a few months. It seemed even longer. I bought another house though that was because my stepfather had more or less given it to me. I spent most of the time there, though I stopped in at the other house every week.

I needed something to happen and I had the hunch that I could make something happen for myself now. I maybe just had to work outside LA. I had my mom call around and they said I could probably get the part, and then I applied to Boy A and I got the part.

I got there and they wanted to change me a little. I didn’t look quite old enough and I wasn’t quite dark enough. So they changed that a little.

By the time it came out it really started my career. I got paid 15,000 dollars in two checks. And when I landed in that house, I took back to my other one and to LA when I could. I spent most of it just having a good time, mostly just supporting myself really. I had a woman I knew from when I was younger named Emily that lived with me. In British Columbia as with most places a minor had to be accompanied by adult at all times, at least in terms of living arrangements. 

I landed the Lions for Lambs role and met Robert Redford and all these people on the set. I was paid 10,000 dollars. 
In 2007 the market collapsed, and I made 600,000 dollars off of new century properties. I had to pay 300,000 because no one had paid the mortgage on that house in Burnaby. But I took the rest and tried to establish myself on my own. I was pushed forward to 1991 and I was emancipated at 16 at least in those years as a frame of reference. I was born in LA. I became naturalized to Canada. 

In 2009 unfortunately these parents ran into my new house and refused to move out. They were thrown out by the police and again though they seemed to feel they really could and needed to live there. I lost my house as he wrote his name on the title and transferred it to himself.

While this was happening my career was starting to take off a little. Spiderman 4 was cancelled and I had been working at Sony in the summer and I heard buzz they were rebooting.

Whenever I heard anything I always was inquiring and intrigued. They seemed to have noticed because one day in Vancouver the call came and they were looking for someone to star in it. I said it would really help my career and they agreed to give it to me. Though they weren’t sure where the movies were going.

Pretty soon my name was up and I had the part. It had my name on IMdb and Wikipedia and there was a dozen articles about me getting the part.

It was pretty exciting. I had good roles leading up to it, and this was detailed. They were starting to feel I could have any part, though not everyone was feeling the same. In many ways, in perhaps every way, I was unproven.

A production was coming together, though a few months before, we had everything but a script. We had funding, crew, actors, actresses, but we had no script.

So they were thinking about who would write it but they wanted to keep everything under wraps. Inevitably it came up that I could write it, and I did. I was the one that knew everything about Spiderman, at least the most. And I was a good writer and they knew about it. So I wrote it in a couple months.

When they hired Emma Stone, I had mixed feelings only because some of the other actresses named for the role were bigger stars at the time, and they seemed to fit the role of Mary Jane more succinctly.

But I knew her and she as much potential as anyone, and from there we just started writing for the role of Gwen Stacy.

The script was great but they wanted changes. It was too complex. So I dumbed it down to some extent.

We tweaked it some more and we were ready to start filming. 

They arranged a flight to LA and I could see the money in my bank account. Then the bank called and I authorized them to buy the flight ticket. 

I left around nine in the morning for my flight, called by to upstairs, then walked out the door.  I got in the cab and the driver smiled at me. By the time I got to LA I saw everyone knew me there and they were very friendly, and everything was feeling a little dream-like. 

There was some waiting with my name on a card, and he drove me to the hotel. I had a nice room. Emma was there and she said hi and then I spent time trying to calm down and wrap my head around what was happening.

I tried to get as much sleep as I could but sometimes things intervene. Though as I arrived on set they said I looked nice and fresh, so I guess not everything went completely wrong. I knew all my lines, they were all already memorized, and as we went through scene after scene everything was flying by. We had hardly had to do a second take.

But as everything was going fine I was sitting in my dressing room between takes and I got a text from my father that he needed me to change my name. You’re not good, he wrote. Though I heard you are?

What, he wrote.

I’m non-ashamed and you need to change your name because you’re not my son. Sorry, I like this one. 

I hadn’t not been expected something ruinous to happen. Good luck can only go so unnoticed. 

Though right after he text me, he had texted the director and most of the producers that Andrew agreed to change his name.

First of all, what was he talking about. The lead actor doesn’t change his name, write at the start of production. And why?

He’s not my son, he wrote, though he probably doesn’t know. 

They only asked me, is this your father?

I thought about what to say a second. ‘Yea, yea,’ I said. ‘Just disregard that.’

They said, ‘Okay.’

Though after a while someone came in a said you should do what he says.

I said I wasn’t sure.

We decided to forget about it. It wasn’t seriously my Dad. And what did that matter.

So we let it go, even for a couple weeks.

We continued filming and maybe everyone but me had forgotten about it. Though my ‘father’ kept throwing weird texts to directors and staff. 

One day the question came again. Why has he not changed his name. Do it or everyone is dead, he wrote.

So we broke for an hour, and then the text came.

Maybe you should do it, one of the producers wrote.

Okay, I wrote.

So we took a break for a week and I flew back to Vancouver where I found that My Dad was having long conversations with Sony all day and all night. They kept telling him to stop but they picked up every time. When they wouldn’t pick up he’d call Interactive Brokers. If they eventually froze him out he’d call the bank and find how much money there was; to cut to the point how much he could have right then.

It seemed I would have to change my name. This guy was bringing me down. Luckily I already had another name. 

One day on the phone I told them I had another name.

But it looks the exact same, they said. Of course he’d been telling them since half way through the day yesterday that I needed a new identity as well.

Okay, I said. I’ll work on that.

Okay, the lady said. Or you’re fired.

Oh no, the man said. Don’t worry about her.

But that seemed to have been what was decided.

He probably does need to change his name, they said. That’s final, the woman said.

And a new identity, she said. Yea, yea, the man said.

I started slowly changing the pictures, though over only a couple days. 

I’d delete them off the internet and then re-add them darkened. Quite significantly. I looked tanned and almost even like a brown man.

Then when she called she said, It’s just darkened. 

I was prepared for that, and I said, ‘I can make it wider.’

‘Okay,’ she said enthusiastically.

And what’s the name, she said?

‘Andrew Garfield,’ I said.

‘Andrew Garfield,’ she said.

‘Yea,’ I said.

‘Okay’, she said again. We knew that, they said. Well done.

So I made the photos wider. And my made my appearance slightly different. And every movie became the same way.

One day my Dad said to me you look a lot different. It seems a lot older. He was only laughing to himself. I think I’m gonna change you age he said.

After a number of frustrated calls, with everyone refusing to change someone age, he finally called IMdb and told them he’d kill everyone on the face of the earth if they didn’t change the age to 1975. Everyone in your office he said, after they had laughed. To be clear, I suppose.

They begrudgingly agreed and the next day my age was changed all the way back. There hadn’t been anything I’d read about it, but they were talking about it on the news in Vancouver. I heard my Dad watching it, and he seemed distraught a little at what he’d done. Then he clicked in and text me, ‘Hah, you’re probably fired. Already, eh.’

‘Go to jail,’ I wrote him back.

I called IMdb and I negotiated with them to bring it back up to 1983. It was stunning blow but also a good save. And say that it was reassessed down, I asked. They said they’d say it was reassessed from 1986. 

Sony told me it was a good save and it was alright. And they had really liked what I wrote the Dad. I hadn’t really threatened him back, after all the things he’d written me. I hadn’t told them m he wrote me he’d kill me 43 times, but they knew some of the things he’d said. He told them himself. They told me I wasn’t fired.

Though she called back herself and told me I was too old. I would probably be fired, she told me.

Like that, my career was slipping.

They wrote in the paper that Andrew McCarthy was being replaced by an older and more experienced actor, though it was probably actually still him. They look remarkably similar, or strikingly similar.

All we did was made the screen name actor looked slightly older with cg, and then it was done. Darkened widened, actually stretched a little vertically, and aged.

We liked the script but the Dad not liked the name anymore. He didn’t want ‘Spiderman.’

We changed to ‘The Amazing Spiderman,’ after one of the main comics, but people had trouble seeing it as the ‘real’ Spiderman now.

So we acted accordingly. We rewrote the script again. We dumbed it down more. Though we hadn’t rewrote much of what we filmed already. Only about 25 percent, and we re-filmed that.

They’d do it right on set. We’d do the scene, and they could show side by side what they filmed and the after effects, with the darkening and slight widening and so forth. 

To make public appearances I wore makeup and a lot of foundation on my nose to widen it slightly, though what people saw was slightly different than what was on camera. Andt that was fine. They knew it was me, and they sort of teased. Though perhaps there was a smaller element of doubt, and that is where I thrived. It kept the character alive.



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