Is Andrew Garfield Really Singing In Netflix’s Tick, Tick… Boom? Lin-Manuel Miranda Had To Do Some Wild Sleuthing Before He Was Cast

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in tick, tick...BOOM!
(Image credit: Imagine Entertainment)

Andrew Garfield is no stranger to the stage. The British actor has starred in productions of famous theatrical works like The Laramie Project, Death of a Salesman, and Romeo and Juliet. But when Lin-Manuel Miranda wanted to cast him in the film adaptation of the musical tick, tick… BOOM!, he had to find out if Andrew Garfield could carry a tune as well as deliver a monologue. 

In an exclusive segment for CBS Sunday Morning, Lin-Manuel Miranda revealed the wild sleuthing that led to the casting of Andrew Garfield as the lead role of Jonathan Larson in tick, tick… BOOM!. The Hamilton composer was on tap to direct the film, but was searching for the perfect lead. Enter the Spider-Man alum, who was fresh off of his Tony Award-winning performance as Prior Walter in Angels in America. While Lin-Manuel Miranda had been eyeing Garfield for the part, he wasn’t sure if the former Spider-Man had the musical chops. So how could he find out? By asking a massage therapist, of course. 

According to Lin-Manuel Miranda, his massage therapist Greg Miele is good friends with none other than Andrew Garfield. During a session, Miranda had the bright idea to ask about Garfield’s singing voice: 

As he [Greg] had his elbow halfway up my neck I thought ‘Can Andrew Garfield sing?’ And he said ‘Andrew can do anything, buddy.’

Case closed, right? Maybe not. Greg Miele shared with CBS (alongside a chuckling Andrew Garfield) that he may not have been entirely truthful with Lin-Manuel Miranda. He explained: 

I said, ‘Of course he can sing! He has the voice of an angel! And I’d never heard Andrew sing. As soon as Lin left, I called Andrew, and I said, ‘Can you sing? Because I just lied to Lin-Manuel.'

Talk about a good friend. While Greg Miele may have been bluffing at the time, he wouldn’t be for long. Lin-Manuel Miranda followed up with Andrew Garfield, who was initially hesitant to accept the role. However, upon learning that he would have a year to prepare before filming, he readily agreed. He then spent the next 12 months taking singing lessons and even learned how to play the piano. So, the answer is yes: Andrew Garfield is really singing in tick, tick… BOOM!. Without the intervention of a massage therapist, however, he might never have raised his voice. 

The film adaptation of tick, tick… BOOM! is now available to stream on Netflix. In addition to Andrew Garfield, the cast features Vanessa Hudgens, Robin de Jesús, Alexandra Shipp, Joshua Henry, and Judith Light. Fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda can also check out his songwriting skills in Disney’s Encanto, an animated musical slated to hit theaters on November 24. 

Rachel Romean

Actor, singer, and occasional dancer. Likes: fashion, books, old buildings. Dislikes: cilantro, the NJ Turnpike, sneaker wedges.