Andrew Garfield has it pretty good right now. He just won a Golden Globe — for the awards body’s first-ever tweeted-out ceremony — for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick… Boom! And right now he’s in what is already one of the highest-grossing movies ever, Spider-Man: No Way Home, dusting off the superhero he himself played less than a decade ago. But in a recent interview, he recalled missing out on another (albeit now long dead) franchise when he was younger, all because the producers somehow didn’t think he was good-looking enough.
That film, as he told Entertainment Tonight (as caught by Variety), was 2006’s’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first in the quickly aborted Narnia series. After a successful kick-off, the series limped with its first sequel Prince Caspian and further nose-dived with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But at the time, hopping on the C.S. Lewis train seemed like a good idea.
“I remember I was so desperate. I auditioned for Prince Caspian in The Chronicles of Narnia and I thought, ‘This could be it, this could be it,’” Garfield recalled. “And that handsome, brilliant actor Ben Barnes ended up getting the role. I think it was down to me and him, and I remember I was obsessed.”
After he lost the role, he bugged his agent for a reason why. “She eventually just broke under my incessant nagging,” he said, “and she was like, ‘It’s because they don’t think you’re handsome enough, Andrew.’”
He pointed out that Barnes is “a very handsome, talented man,” adding that “in retrospect, I’m not unhappy with the decision and I think he did a beautiful job.”
While the Narnia series slowly collapsed, Garfield earned acclaim for smaller fare like Boy A, The Other Boelyn Girl, and Never Let Me Go, which led to The Social Network, two Spider-Man films, even working for no less than Martin Scorsese in 2016’s Silence. So it all worked out in the end, albeit not for the Narnia films.