Garfield began taking acting classes in Guildford, Surrey, when he was 9, and appeared in a youth theatre production of Bugsy Malone. He also joined a small youth theatre workshop group in Epsom and took Theatre Studies at A-level before studying for a further 3 years at a UK conservatoire, the Central School of Speech and Drama. Upon graduating in 2004 he began working primarily in stage acting. In 2004 he won a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award for Best Newcomer for his performance in Kes at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre (where he also played Romeo the year after), and won the Outstanding Newcomer Award at the 2006 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Garfield made his British television debut in 2005 appearing in the Channel 4 teen drama Sugar Rush. In 2007 he garnered public attention when he appeared in the series 3 of the BBC's Doctor Who, in the episodes "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks". Garfield commented that it was "an honour" to be a part of Doctor Who. In October 2007, he was named one of Variety's "10 Actors to Watch". He made his American film debut in November 2007, playing an American university student in the ensemble drama Lions for Lambs, with co-stars Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. "I'm just lucky to be there working on the same project as them, although I don't really expect to be recognised later by audiences," Garfield told Variety in 2007. In his review for The Boston Globe, Wesley Morris considered Garfield's work "a willing punching bag for the movie's jabs and low blows".