The actor said he had 'wild, trippy experiences' when he method acted a role.
Andrew Garfield is opening up about the lengths he'll go to for a role. On the latest episode of the WTF With Marc Maron podcast, the 39-year-old actor revealed how method acting has given him unforgettable experiences.
During the conversation, Garfield discussed how he got into the role of a 17th-century Jesuit priest for the 2016 Martin Scorsese film, Silence.
"I had an incredibly spiritual experience. I did a bunch of spiritual practices every day. I created new rituals for myself. I was celibate for six months, and fasting a lot, because me and Adam [Driver] had to lose a bunch of weight anyway," Garfield said. "There were all the spiritual practices we got to do while we were praying, meditating, having all the intentions we had as those characters. It was very cool, man. I had some pretty wild, trippy experiences from starving myself of sex and food for that period of time."
Garfield was first drawn to method acting after he screen-tested with Ryan Gosling for a project.
"I was overwhelmed. I was like, 'This guy has figured something out. He's doing something on a deeper level here,'" Garfield recalled of Gosling. "... He was alive. He didn’t care about doing it the same way over and over again. He was listening, he was very present, he was spontaneous, he was surprising. He wasn’t trying to be those things, he was just present."
"There was a Zen quality to it, but it was like being in a scene with a wild animal where you didn't know whether he was going to kiss you or kill you," he added. "And then you kind of hook into that. You go, 'Oh, I want to follow whatever that is.'"
Eventually, Garfield, who recently earned an Emmy nomination for his performance in Under the Banner of Heaven, was able to connect with Gosling's acting coach, Greta Seacat, who got him into the practice of method acting.
"There's been a lot of misconceptions around what method acting is, I think," Garfield said. "... People are still acting in that way, and it’s not about being an a**hole to everyone on set. 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."
"I'm kind of bothered by the misconception," he continued. "I'm kind of bothered by this idea of 'method acting's f**king bulls**t.' It's like, no, I don't think you know what method acting is if you're calling it bulls**t."