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Andrew Garfield nearly died after contracting meningitis

Garfield also revealed he thinks 'feelings are rather important' and they can be dangerous is not spoken about.

Actor Andrew Garfield (L) and English actress Claire Foy pose upon arrival for the European premiere of the film 'Breathe' during the opening night gala event for the BFI London Film Festival in London on 4 October 2017. Picture: AFP.

British actor Andrew Garfield revealed he contracted meningitis when was born and it could have killed him or left him physically disabled.

The 34-year-old actor is currently starring in Andy Serkis' directorial debut Breathe as Robert Cavendish - who was diagnosed with polio and left paralysed by the illness - and when filming the movie he couldn't help but think what his life would have been like if the illness had left him with disabilities.

Speaking to The I Paper, Garfield said: "Something I can share which is interesting, although it may be a bit tenuous to some people reading this, is that soon after I was born I contracted a strand of meningitis called coxsackie, which is almost a funny word but not a funny experience apparently. It could have killed me or meant that I had severe mental or physical disabilities for the rest of my life. Some people might not agree, but I believe that our birth story, what happens in the womb, when we come out, the environment we come into, whatever complications at birth leave an imprint on the child. So, I do believe that there is some innate knowledge of that experience in me somewhere. Some people may scoff at that."

The film stars Garfield as Robin who, despite being given only three months to live after being paralysed from the neck down by polio at age 28, devoted his life to campaigning for disabled rights until he died at the age of 64.

Breathe also stars The Crown actress Claire Foy as his wife Diana and it was produced by Robin's real-life son Jonathan Cavendish, who runs The Imaginarium Studios production company with Serkis.

Garfield also revealed he thinks "feelings are rather important" and they can be dangerous is not spoken about.

He said: "I think it's so easy for us to fall back into what conventional wisdom tells us, which is not to feel or not to express your feelings or not to be award of your feelings, they are just feelings. Well, no, I think feelings are rather important, and if they aren't expressed that's when dangerous stuff occurs."

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