Andrew Garfield on exploring fatherhood: 'Exciting, daunting and scary'

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Andrew Garfield on Fatherly Instincts: 'I've Always Had Them Somewhere'


In the new film 99 Homes, Andrew Garfield plays a single dad who loses his home to foreclosure. Though the 32-year-old actor doesn't have any children in real life, he admits the film brought out his fatherly instincts.

"I've always had them somewhere," he told ET at the film's press junket over the weekend. "I think all men do and all women have that motherly instinct, and it was exciting to explore that and daunting and scary. I kind of thought, 'Well, how do I do that? If I haven't experienced it, can I do it?' but then I realized that's the situation of every single father in the history of time. Everybody who becomes a father has never been a father before, so we're all going into this initiation totally blind and groping in the dark so I kind of went with that feeling of not knowing what the hell I was doing and it kind of helped."

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In October, it will be five years since Garfield's breakthrough role in The Social Network. "[It was] a great moment to be involved in that film and work with those people," he reminisced.

"I miss everyone from that experience, especially Jesse," Garfield continued. "That was a great time."

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Andrew Garfield on exploring fatherhood: 'Exciting, daunting and scary'
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield attend the 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24: Actors Andrew Garfield (L) and Emma Stone of the cast of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' answer questions from fans during a SiriusXM 'Town Hall' special with host Jamie Foxx on SiriusXM's The Foxxhole channel at the SiriusXM Studio on April 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

US/British actor Andrew Garfield (R) and US actress Emma Stone pose during a photocall for the film The Amazing Spiderman 2 prior to the German premiere of the film in Berlin on April 15, 2014.  

(Photo credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield at 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise Of Electro' photocall on March 20, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Caroline McCredie/Getty Images)
Spiderman movie actors Emma Stone (R) and Andrew Garfield attend the world premiere of 'The Amazing Spider-man' in Tokyo on June 13, 2012. Cast members attended the premiere of the latest spiderman movie. (Photo credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/GettyImages)
Emma Stone, left, and Andrew Garfield arrive at the premiere of "Magic In The Moonlight" on Thursday, July 16, 2014, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
US actress Emma Stone, left and US born actor Andrew Garfield arrive for the World premiere of The Amazing Spiderman 2, at a central London cinema in Leicester Square, Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
British actor, Andrew Garfield and U.S. actress Emma Stone, pose for photos to promote their upcoming film, "The Amazing Spider-Man" at the Summer of Sony 4 Spring Edition photo call in Cancun, Mexico, Monday April 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
Andrew Garfield, left, and Emma Stone attend the party for the world premiere of "The Amazing Spider-Man" at the Regency Village Theatre on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)
Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone attending the Premiere of the film The Amazing Spiderman 2 held at Le Grand Rex in Paris , France. (photo credit: Nicolas Briquet/ABACA)
Actors Andrew Garfield, left, and Emma Stone pose during a photo call to promote the movie "The amazing Spider-Man" in Rome, Friday, June 22, 2012. The movie is due out in the Italian theatres on July 4. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
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However, the notoriously private actor has his own qualms about embracing social media.

"It's a huge conversation, isn't it?" he observed. "'Cause I'm not dead against it but I also feel more attuned to potential damage that it could be causing our brains and our ability to be with ourselves and each other in an authentic and deep way. You can't get to anything that really meaningful. So I don't participate in it, not to say that I will never, but I don't have a reason to right now as far as I can see."

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While some celebrities have been quick to embrace Instagram, Twitter and social media culture as a whole, Garfield maintains that the things he wants to share with his fans are much deeper than what he had for breakfast that day.

"I just want to give them my work. I want to give them my soul," he explained. "I don't want to give away the little tidbits of information that I don't think adds anything to the conversation for me. I wanna give my deepest self."

It's an astute observation from someone who claims to have a hard time keeping his life and career in perspective.

"I struggle with myself just like anyone else. I struggle with feeling like I always need to do more," Garfield told ET. "Feeling like I'm not doing enough, I'm not far enough along and all these things, all these temptations. It keeps me moving and it keeps me hungry but it can easily tip over into greed and a kind of dissatisfaction with what one has. Like I have such a rich life, I'm so grateful. I have to always remember the basic things of health and family and friendship."

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