Los Angeles Premiere Of FX's 'Under The Banner Of Heaven'

Andrew Garfield Took Method Acting To Another Level By 'Starving' Himself For A Role

Home / Stars / Andrew Garfield Took Method Acting To Another Level By 'Starving' Himself For A Role

By Kristin Myers on August 23, 2022 at 11:30 AM EDT

Actor Andrew Garfield took method acting to another level when he was preparing for his role in Martin Scorsese's 2016 film, "Silence."

The movie starred not one but two Star Wars actors: Liam Neeson and Adam Driver. Neeson played Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in the first film of the prequel series, "The Phantom Menace," and made a recent appearance in the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" Disney+ live-action series. Driver appeared as Kylo Ren and the redeemed Ben Solo in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, which ran from 2015 to 2019.

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All three actors took their roles in the movies seriously, with Garfield and Driver losing a significant amount of weight for their roles as priests. Although Driver has previously opened up about his version of method acting, "The Amazing Spider-Man" actor revealed that he went through some serious method acting to prepare for the role.

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Andrew Garfield Said He Had Some 'Trippy Experiences' After 'Starving' Himself Of Sex & Food

The Academy Award-nominated film was lauded by critics and has an 83% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The synopsis of the film reads:

Two 17th-century Portuguese missionaries, Father Sebastian Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Francisco Garupe (Adam Driver), embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor (Liam Neeson).

While there, the two men minister to the Christian villagers who worship in secret. If caught by feudal lords or ruling samurai, they must renounce their faith or face a prolonged and agonizing death.

To prepare for his role in the historical drama, Garfield said that he went through several “spiritual practices” every day and was celibate for six months to prepare for the role.

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On Monday’s episode of “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast, the “Hacksaw Ridge” actor revealed, “I did a bunch of spiritual practices every day, I created new rituals, I was celibate for six months and I was fasting a lot.”

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Adam Driver at the 2020 Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala
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Although it sounds like it might be difficult for many people to keep up with for a prolonged period of time, the 39-year-old actor actually said that the experience was “very cool.”

“It was very cool, man,” Garfield continued. “I had some pretty wild, trippy experiences from starving myself of sex and food at that time.”

Garfield Studied Under A Jesuit Writer To Research Catholicism For The Role

Andrew Garfield at the 2021 AFI Fest - Opening Night Gala Premiere Of Netflix's 'tick, tick...BOOM!'

In addition to abstaining from food and sex, the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” actor explained that he spent a year studying under a Jesuit writer named Father James Martin, 61, who he called both a “friend” and a “spiritual director.”

Martin was the one who helped “The Social Network” actor research Catholicism and led him through the spiritual exercises that he performed daily to get ready for his role in the drama. Garfield explained that they used the same kind of rituals that Konstantin Stanislavski used to develop method acting a long time ago.

Although method acting is a controversial practice, the “tick, tick…BOOM!” star admitted that he feels that there are a lot of “misconceptions” about what method acting is.”

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Andrew Garfield at 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party

“There’s been a lot of misconceptions about what method acting is, I think,” Garfield explained. “People are still acting in that way, and it’s not about being an a–hole to everyone on set.”

He then gave his own definition of method acting, saying, “It’s actually just about living truthfully under imagined circumstances and being really nice to the crew simultaneously and being a normal human being and being able to drop it when you need to and staying in it when you want to stay in it.”

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Andrew Garfield Is Stepping Back From Acting ‘For A Little Bit’

Andrew Garfield seen leaving the Paris Theatre in NYC on Nov 15, 2021. 15 Nov 2021 Pictured: Andrew Garfield.

Coming off the success of the “Spider-Man” franchise, Garfield feels that it might be a good time to take a break in his career. In April, he told Variety, “I’m going to rest for a bit.”

“I need to recalibrate and reconsider what I want to do next and who I want to be and just be a bit of a person for a while,” the Oscar nominee admitted. “Because as you know, that is a washing machine, that awards season.”

“I need to just be a bit ordinary for a while,” he added.

Fans can still catch Andrew Garfield in "Silence" on Epix, Amazon Prime, and Paramount+.

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