Andrew Garfield Says Fasting & Staying Celibate For Six Months For Scorese Role Was A ‘Spiritual Experience’
Andrew Garfield discussed method acting while sitting down for an interview on the podcast WTF With Marc Maron. While preparing to play a Jesuit missionary in 2016’s Silence, which was directed by Martin Scorsese, Garfield discussed how he used method acting to defend it against the critics who call it completely useless.
“I’m kind of bothered by this idea that ‘method acting is fucking bullshit.’ People are still acting in that way, and it’s not about being an asshole to everyone on set,” Garfield told Marc Maron. “It’s actually just about living truthfully under imaged circumstances, and being nice to the crew simultaneously, and being a normal human being, and being able to drop it when you need to.”
Garfield also explained what exactly he did to prepare for his role as Sebastiāo Rodrigues. “I did a bunch of spiritual practices every day, I created new rituals for myself. I was celibate for six months, because me and Adam [Driver] had to lose a bunch of weight anyway,” Garfield explained.
“It was very cool, man. I had some pretty trippy, wild experiences from starving myself of sex and food at that time,” he also added.
Garfield said he consulted with the Jesuit priest James Martin and immersed himself in the religion the year before the film’s shooting began. He told Indiewire that the process of the “Saint Ignatius spiritual exercises,” which he studied for the film actually predates and inspired the techniques of method acting developed by Konstantin Stanislavski.
While speaking with Maron, Garfield also said he was intimidated to work with Scorsese at first, but when he arrived on set “it was just kind of dispelled with who he is, because he’s just so disarming and very ordinary with all of his extraordinariness.”