June 8, 2022 11:28 PM EDT

Actor Andrew Garfield is grappling.

At least, he said as much on the TIME100 Gala red carpet Wednesday night. The member of the 2022 TIME100 list is fresh off recent success in roles such as Spider-Man: No Way Home, the lead in Under the Banner of Heaven and playwright Jonathan Larson in tick, tick…BOOM!, which earned him a Best Actor nod at the Academy Awards.

In the wake of those accomplishments, Garfield is not resting on his laurels and backing down from the greater questions of the universe. He is facing those questions head-on.

“There might be an epidemic of meaninglessness,” he posited, when asked on the TIME100 Gala red carpet about what he sees as the most pressing challenge facing the world right now.

His concerns touched on philosophy and poetry. He invoked soul music and an underground network of fungi threads.

Rather than paraphrase his answer on the red carpet, here it is in full:

After imparting his wisdom, Garfield laughed at himself. “What did I just say?” he asked. “I think I said some stuff.”

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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com.

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