The 38 year-old was discussing his recent role as Jonathan Larson in Netflix's 'Tick Tick... Boom!'. Larson passed away on the opening night of his show 'Rent' as a result of a misdiagnosis.
Shortly before production of the film began, Garfield's mother passed away of pancreatic cancer. On the subject of Garfield's loss, Colbert asked how his art helps him deal with grief.
The British-American actor immediately got emotional. However, after a brief faltering, he managed to flow into a beautiful and memorable monologue:
“I love talking about it, by the way, so if I cry it’s a beautiful thing. The grief will remain with us until we pass. We never get enough time with each other. I hope this grief stays with me because it’s all of the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her and I told her every day, she was the best of us."
"For me, I was able to step into this in a way that I could honour this incredible life of Jonathan Larson, who was taken at the age of 35, on the night of the first preview of Rent, in some strange twist of fate. This film is to do with this ticking clock that we all have, that life is sacred, life is short and we better just be here as much as possible for each other, holding on to each other.”
He added, “For me, I got to sing Jonathan Larson’s unfinished song, while simultaneously singing for my mother and her unfinished song. I am indebted to everyone who’s brought me to this place so I can honour the most beautiful person I’ve ever experienced in my life through my art and use it as a way to heal and sew up the wounds.”
"Both John and my mother were artists. They were warriors for art and they knew the power of art. They knew about leaving the world in a slightly more beautiful state than when they found it."
Watch the full interview below.