Andrew Garfield has opened up about his experience as a Jesuit priest in the 2016 film Silence and has made a shocking revelation. Directed by Martin Scorsese, the film follows two Portuguese missionaries as they search for their missing mentor (played by Liam Neeson). Despite an Oscar nomination, the film was considered a commercial flop, having grossed $23.7 million worldwide on a production budget of $46 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
“It’s Scorsese at his most sentimental and weakest,” wrote film critic Camila Long in The Times. “Halfway through its endless 161 minutes, I realized that ‘Silence’ also represented something else: the silence of fans and critics or anyone who might say what a flimsy, symbolic, ego-driven brain fart it is.”
The film, based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel of the same name, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Achievement in Cinematography. However, Garfield failed to secure credit for his role as Rodrigues. Now the actor reveals the shocking efforts he went through preparing for the performance.
Andrew Garfield was celibate and fasting
Andrew Garfield speaks candidly about the method acting strategies he employed while filming his 2016 film Silence. During an appearance on WTF with Marc Maron, the British actor revealed he gave up “sex and food” to prepare for his role as a 17th-century priest. “I was abstinent for six months and fasted a lot because me and Adam had to lose a lot of weight anyway,” Garfield said. He added, “I’ve had some pretty wild, trippy experiences starving myself for sex and food for that time.”
Garfield – who stars in the true-crime miniseries Under the Banner of Heaven – began their conversation by defending method acting from critics who said the strategy was too extreme. “It’s not about being an asshole to everyone on set,” he said, explaining instead that method acting should be a private ordeal and shouldn’t interfere with others in the production.
Garfield isn’t the only Hollywood star to partake in extreme method acting strategies. Jared Leto came under fire in 2016 after his Suicide Squad co-stars spoke out about his bizarre behavior on set. Will Smith explained that he did not meet Leto throughout filming and that the 30 Seconds to Mars singer only spoke to him when they were in the role. Meanwhile, Margot Robbie claimed Leto gave her a live rat.