By Nicole Sperling
January 24, 2017 at 01:03 PM EST
  • Movie

Andrew Garfield had just begun his second day of rehearsals for Angels in America in London when his agent called him screaming during his lunch break to give him the news of his first Oscar nomination.

The actor was recognized for his portrayal of WWII hero Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge, which landed six nominations in total on Tuesday including best picture and best director. “It’s lovely and so cool. And I’m sure there’s been some mistake,” he said.

Garfield, who previously compared Doss to Hillary Clinton, said Tuesday that he was even more heartened by his nomination because it suggested that people responded to what Doss stood for as a direct repudiation of President Donald Trump. “Desmond wasn’t a soldier for any specific country, actually, because he treated both enemy soldiers and his own. I think people are resonating with that and with the virtues Desmond embodied: compassion, love, empathy and humility — really true, sincere humility,” he says. “Obviously now we are in a situation where we have a president who I feel is embodying the opposite of those virtues and I think it’s heartening that people are responding with this kind of open-heartedness, this longing for healing, this remembrance that we are all one and the same.”

Garfield is equally energized by the Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge director Mel Gibson, a man who had been ostracized by the industry a decade ago after he was arrested for driving under the influence and recorded making anti-Semitic comments.

“I think it’s awesome and wonderful,” Garfield says. “He’s done a lot of work within himself and a lot of healing. It’s a lovely thing that all that hard work, patience and humility has been seen by other people. People are seeing him in a deeper way, seeing him in a more full and whole way. It’s lovely.”

  • Movie
  • R
release date
  • 11/04/16
  • 138 minutes
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