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Andrew Garfield on ‘Silence’: ‘I Truly Started to Adore…the Teachings of Christ’

By Mark Judge | December 8, 2016 | 2:24pm EST
Andrew Garfield (AP Photo)

"I was filled up with all this information and all this longing to spread the teachings of Christ, which I truly started to adore."

Those are the words of actor Andrew Garfield, who recently told  them to Hollywood Reporter reporter Stephen Galloway.

Garfield is starring in the new film “Silence,” which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Based on the novel by Shusaku Endo, it’s the story of Jesuit missionaries Sebastiao Rodrigues (Garfield) and Francisco Garrpe (Adam Driver), who come to Japan in 1639, searching for a missing priest, Father Cristovao Ferreira (Liam Neeson). The film opens December 23.

Garfield, probably best known for playing Spider-Man in two films, told the Reporter that his training for “Silence" involved instruction from Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit, as well as doing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.

From the article:

"[Fr. Martin] gave me spiritual direction as if I were a Jesuit in training," says Garfield. "It became a very personal journey for me, a dual journey: It was me and Rodrigues, walking together, so that I could allow the events of the story to affect me in the way that a young, ambitious, intelligent, articulate, learned Jesuit would respond to being dropped into the front lines of the battle for Christianity."

With Driver cast as the other lead missionary, the two young actors were sent to a Jesuit retreat in Wales, where Garfield completed the arduous Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.

"It's almost like a 12-step program," he explains. "In fact, it's the basis for a lot of 12-step programs, a longform meditation and prayer spent imagining the life of Christ, story by story, gospel by gospel, and sitting with his teachings, sitting with him as he discovers who he is in the wilderness, and really meditating upon his life and even crucifixion."

By the time of the shoot, he says, "I was filled up with all this information and all this longing to spread the teachings of Christ, which I truly started to adore."

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