Defending method acting, Hollywood star Andrew Garfield has said that he starved himself of sex and food for his role in the 2016 film Silence. The 39-year-old actor played Sebastião Rodrigues, a role based on a real-life Jesuit priest, in Martin Scorsese’s film.
“It was very cool, man. I had some pretty wild, trippy experiences from starving myself of sex and food at that time,” he said.
Expressing his thoughts on method acting during an interview with Variety, the Spider-Man: No Way Home actor said, “There have been a lot of misconceptions about what method acting is, I think. 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, being really nice to the crew simultaneously, 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.”
Garfield further revealed that it was a screen test in 2005 with Ryan Gosling that inspired him to try method acting. Both actors had screen-tested for a silver screen adaptation of Michael Chabon’s novel The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, which never materialised.
“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 said of Gosling. “There was a zen quality to it, but it was like being in a scene with a wild animal where you don’t know whether he was going to kiss you or kill you. And you hook into that, and you’re like ‘Oh, I want to follow whatever that is.’”
The ethics of method acting has been highly debated for years, with actors like Jon Bernthal and Andrew McCarthy both speaking out against the abuse of the practice.
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