Early in Andrew Garfield's career, before he scored his big breakout part in The Social Network, he tried out for a part in Disney and Walden Media's film adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia. He didn't get the part for a reason that might shock many today. He was told he wasn't handsome enough.
"I remember I was so desperate," Garfield recalled in an interview with Entertainment Tonight last week, reports Insider. "I auditioned for Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia and I thought, 'This could be it, this could be it.' And that handsome, brilliant actor Ben Barnes ended up getting the role."
Garfield was desperate for the part and remembered it was between him and Barnes. When he asked his agent why he didn't get it, she told him Disney didn't think he was "handsome enough." Garfield ultimately agreed that Barnes is a "very handsome, talented man... So in retrospect, I'm not unhappy with the decision and I think he did a beautiful job."
Garfield might have actually dodged a career misstep by missing out on the part. Disney and Walden Media's attempt to turn the C.S. Lewis Narnia novels into a long-running movie franchise didn't turn out so well. Although The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was a hit in 2005, Prince Caspian (2008) was a critical disappointment. Disney wasn't originally involved in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010), which also starred Barnes. Walden Media failed to make another movie and their deal with the Lewis estate expired in 2011. Since playing Caspian, Barnes' best-known work has been on television, including roles in Westworld and The Punisher. He now stars in Shadow and Bone.
As for Garfield, he scored his breakout role as Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network (2010). He was later cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man for The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and its sequel. He reprised the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Garfield earned his first Oscar nomination in 2016 for Hacksaw Ridge, and is in the awards conversation again this season thanks to Netflix's Tick, Tick... Boom!.
In his interview with ET, Garfield said he and Toby Macguire snuck into a screening of No Way Home to see how audiences reacted to their reveals in the movie. "There's something spiritual that kind of happened and happens, and that we were exploring in the film. Which is like, archetypically, the character is so alone... that's an important part of the character in terms of the canon of Spider-Man, for me in a way," Garfield said.