Accepting the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Play at the 72nd annual Tony Awards, Garfield held both pride and gratitude in helping bringing such a story back to center stage over almost a quarter-century.
Angels in America, a revival of Tony Kushner’s 1991 drama about life, love, and homosexuality, follows Garfield’s character’s physical deterioration and spiritual journey as a man living with AIDS in the 1980s. Through tears, Garfield saluted those who inspired the role and the benevolent values they lived and died for.
“It is a spirit that says no to oppression. It is a spirit that says no to bigotry, no to shame, no to exclusion. It is a spirit that says we are all made perfectly. And we all belong,” he said. “So I dedicate this award to the countless LGBTQ people who have fought and died to protect that spirit, to protect that message for the right to live and love as we are created to.”
Garfield ended the speech alluding the recent Supreme Court decision in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
“We are all sacred, and we all belong,” he said. “So let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”
Earning eleven nominations, Angels in America took home two additional awards on the night including Best Revival of a Play and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (Nathan Lane).
Watch Garfield's speech below.