In Mainstream, Andrew Garfield plays Link, a street urchin turned social media darling who, almost overnight, sets the digital world on fire with his anarchic charm. It’s an interesting role for Garfield who notably eschews social media himself, but maybe that makes sense: The film is, in part, about social media’s ability to amplify not only our own worst thoughts about ourselves, but the worst parts about humanity in general.
Garfield is also joined by a number of social media hot shots for a scene in the movie, in which his character goes apeshit on a panel show for YouTube celebrities. As he tells us in the interview above, the YouTubers, like Jake Paul and Patrick Starrr, only knew part of the scene and were truly shocked with where Garfield’s Link went in his confrontation with the show’s host, played by Johnny Knoxville. Their reactions, like Paul filming the confrontation on his phone, were based in reality, making Mainstream that much more meta.
All that and Garfield’s thoughts on the film’s gritty and sometimes seedy Hollywood setting can be found in the video above.