On the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast, the “Silence” actor recalled how nervous he was to work with the legendary Oscar-winning writer-director for the 2016 adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s novel about 17th-century Jesuit priests in Japan. Adam Driver, Liam Neeson, and Ciaran Hinds also starred.
“You go in with everything you imagine you would go in with: total excitement, trepidation, pinching yourself, total awareness of how lucky you are that you are one of the handful of people who have gotten to work with the American master of cinema,” Garfield told Maron.
As for what the seemingly elusive Scorsese is like, Garfield couldn’t help but be honest.
“He’s just fun. He’s like a funny dude who knows a lot about movie and history and culture and people and just loves being a person,” the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” actor shared. “He’s kind of the most Jewish Italian American that you have ever come across.”
He summed up, “So I went in with all of that, and it was just kind of dispelled with who he is, because he’s just so disarming and very ordinary with all of his extraordinariness.”
Yet Garfield’s dedicated method approach was much more serious: Garfield spent a year studying with an “incredible” Jesuit priest and spiritual director in New York. “I just studied Catholicism, and a thing called the Saint Ignatius spiritual exercises,” Garfield shared, citing a 31-day retreat where participants “actively meditated on the life of Christ and placed yourself into every single stage and scene and moment in the life of Christ.”
The spiritual exercises were actually the direct basis for the Stanislavski method acting technique. Garfield shared that Stanislavski was able to “create this method of acting by imaginatively entering circumstances so fully that it feels like you’ve lived them cellularly.”
“You end up in a pretty deep space,” Garfield opened up about the “transformational process.”
The “Social Network” actor exclusively told IndieWire in 2021 that he was holed up in a “monk-like” Manhattan apartment while preparing for the role, which led to him starring in Sofia Coppola’s “Mainstream” about the antithesis of spirituality: social media, to also help “balance out” his “Spider-Man” franchise fame.
“We’ve been brainwashed into thinking that money, fame, power, status, and all of those old desires will fill us up and make us feel whole,” Garfield said at the time. “I wanted to explore that in myself — the stuff that I attempt not to be seduced by.”