Arcade Fire’s “We Exist” music video finds “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” star Andrew Garfield taking on one of the more unexpected, affecting roles of his career: a blonde-haired transgender woman, seeking a shred of solid ground. Watch the video for the poignant gay rights anthem below:
The clip — which the band teased last week — begins with Garfield shaving his head, feeling his skull and letting out a sigh of relief — and then a twinge of uncertainty — when putting on a bra. Eventually Garfield’s character ends up in a bar, where she begins slow-dancing with a man but is quickly shoved around by other occupants in the seedy establishment.
Fortunately, the serious situation dissipates, and Garfield enters a fantastical dance scenario and finds the strength to get off the barroom floor. The clip ends with Garfield’s character finding her way to Coachella, where Arcade Fire happens to be headlining; she stumbles toward and onto the stage, locking eyes with frontman Win Butler and soaking in the cheers from the (real) crowd.
Butler has described “We Exist” as a song about a son trying to tell his father that he’s gay. At Coachella last month, Butler urged the crowd to get behind the same-sex marriage movement in a more demonstrative way.
“We Exist” comes from Arcade Fire’s fourth studio album, “Reflektor,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart last October. The band’s current tour resumes at the Primavera Sound Festival on May 29.