As a film that he’s attempted to make for nearly three decades, Silence is undoubtably a Martin Scorsese passion project. However, it’s also a transformative peak for actor Andrew Garfield, who plays a 17th-century Jesuit priest who’s voyaged to Japan in an attempt to locate his spiritual mentor (Liam Neeson) after his mentor publicly renounced his faith. Garfield didn’t twist very long in the wind after the Spider-Man series was rebooted without him, as 2016 proved to be a banner year for the actor, working with Mel Gibson on Hacksaw Ridge, Scorsese on Silence and filming David Robert Mitchell‘s follow-up to It Follows.
While that actor rebound is impressive it wouldn’t be complete without a towering performance. And that’s what Garfield delivers in Silence. The actor is currently nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes for Hacksaw Ridge, but while I enjoyed that film, his performance in Silence is far grander. Just listen to Scorsese in the featurette above to get a sense of the journey that Garfield has to undertake to embody the character that Scrosese has attempted to bring to the screen since he was handed Shusaku Endo‘s novel in 1988. Scorsese describes the journey as such:(Garfield’s) “[Father] Rodrigues is someone who has to get past his ego and his spiritual pride to gain his faith. And that’s the paradox.” That journey is what makes Garfield’s performance one of the absolute bests of the year.
In this behind-the-scenes featurette you get a few glimpses of Scorsese and Garfield working on set, some information about Garfield’s training for specific Jesuit practices and an important visual reminder on how resplendent and resilient Garfield’s hair is. It’s exciting to share a video for a film that I’m passionate about, for a performance I admire and for something that shows one of the greatest all-time directors at work.