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Andrew and Martin Scorsese for The Hollywood Reporter Magazine

Fifty years after fighting for his life, the 74-year-old director talks overcoming an epic lawsuit, starving actors and a death on set to bring his passion project — a Japanese novelist’s masterpiece — to the screen: “I was blind, and now I can see.”


In 1978, Martin Scorsese nearly died. Years of hard living and drug abuse finally had caught up with the filmmaker, and yet he continued to push himself, until one day, he collapsed. “After finishing New York, New York, I took chances,” he says. “[I was] out of time and out of place and also in turmoil in my own life and embracing the other world, so to speak, with a kind of attraction to the dangerous side of existence. Then on Labor Day weekend, I found myself in a hospital, surprised that I was near death.”

At age 35, he was fighting for his life. “A number of things had happened,” he continues. “Misuse of normal medications in combinations [to which] my body reacted in strange ways. I was down to about 109 pounds. It wasn’t only drug-induced — asthma had a lot to do with it. I was kept in a hospital for 10 days and nights, and they took care of me, these doctors, and I became aware of not wanting to die and not wasting [my life].”

Alone in that hospital, occasionally visited by such friends as Robert De Niro, the director thought back to his roots as a Catholic growing up in New York’s Little Italy, the son of two garment workers, a boy who had fallen under the influence of a charismatic priest and at one point considered becoming a seminarian, only to be thrown out of the preparatory seminary because he never could make it to Mass on time. All these years later, “I was stunned by the realization of my naivete and denial,” he says. “I prayed. But if I prayed, it was just to get through those 10 days and nights. I felt [if I was saved] it was for some reason. And even if it wasn’t for a reason, I had to make good use of it.”

Half a lifetime later, 74, has returned to that spiritual crisis and used it as the underpinning of another story, of men facing their own such challenge in a very different time and place, 17th century Japan.

Based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel and starring Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver and Liam Neeson, Silence charts the physical and emotional journeys of two Jesuit priests who travel from Portugal to Japan in an attempt to win converts — only to be persecuted for their beliefs.

Continue reading Andrew and Martin Scorsese for The Hollywood Reporter Magazine

Categories Awards & Nominations

“Hacksaw Ridge” Wins 6 Awards at AACTA

Andrew Garfield won the AACTA cup for Best Lead Actor for his role as Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge in Australia. Hacksaw Ridge has won 6 categories. Congratulatins Andrew!


If you live in Australia and you missed the Ceremony telecast on Channel 7, Foxtel will be airing two encores on Friday 9 December on Foxtel Masterpiece at 10.35pm and Saturday 10 December on Foxtel Arts at 2.30pm.

Categories Gallery Public Appearances

American Cinematheque Tribute To Martin Scorsese and Irwin Winkler

Andrew Garfield attended the American Cinematheque Tribute To Martin Scorsese and Irwin Winkler and sat down for a discussion with Adam Driver and director Martin Scorsese at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday. I’m sorry for the delay but you can finally find the pictures in our gallery.


Categories Gallery Interviews Photoshoots Press

The Hollywood Reporter: Actor Roundtable

Six contenders — also including Mahershala Ali, Andrew Garfield, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dev Patel — on what it takes to play a real-life person, making a drug dealer likable, turning down parts and the agony of acting: “The very thing you love is the thing you hate.”


Halfway through this year’s Actor Roundtable, just as THR’s group was settling in with one another, Casey Affleck paused to look at Jeff Bridges with something bordering on awe. “Jeff,” he said, “not to draw attention to your age or anything, but I just want to point out that when I was born in 1975, you had already worked with Peter Bogdanovich, John Huston and Robert Benton.”
“Yeah,” Bridges shrugged.

“So you were bushed before I was born, man,” said Affleck.

That gives some idea of the warmth that flowed among the group, one of THR’s younger-skewing actor gatherings, with Bridges, 67 (Hell or High Water), playing patriarch to Affleck, 41 (Manchester by the Sea); Mahershala Ali, 42 (Moonlight); Andrew Garfield, 33 (Hacksaw Ridge, Silence); Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 35 (Snowden); and Dev Patel, 26 (Lion).

Many confessed to being nervous, especially beside the elder statesman. But Bridges surprised them at the Nov. 12 shoot in Hollywood by admitting he was jittery, too ­— and that after all these years, he still feels fear when he takes on a role.

What do you most like about acting and what do you like the least?

Andrew Garfield: I just like knowing everything I can. I love the fact that I get to train for a year as a Jesuit priest and then train to be a cop and learn how to make a rocking chair. I want to know everything about everything, and that’s not possible and it won’t be possible. I’m not ever going to reach it. Neil Young has a recurring dream where he has the perfect melody — and he wakes up every time and can’t remember it. And that’s what it is for me. There’s something to aspire to always, there’s somewhere further to go. And the thing that I hate about acting is — well, everything I just said. (Laughter.) The longing is so f—ing painful sometimes.

Continue reading The Hollywood Reporter: Actor Roundtable

Categories Articles Interviews Movie Projects Press Silence

New York Times Magazine Interview

Silence is a novel about “the necessity of belief fighting the voice of experience,” as Scorsese has put it. To get the Jesuits’ beliefs right, he engaged the Rev. James Martin, an author and editor at large of the Jesuit weekly America. Filmmaker and priest had several colloquies at Scorsese’s home, and Martin worked intensively with Garfield and Driver. Just as De Niro learned to box for “Raging Bull,” they familiarized themselves with the rites and disciplines of the Jesuit priesthood to bring authenticity to their performances.

Garfield, known for his role in two “Spider-Man” movies, prepared to play Father Rodrigues by entering fully into the process that Jesuits call “spiritual direction.” Raised outside London, with a secular Jewish father, Garfield developed his character by undergoing the “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. The exercises, devised in the 1520s, invite the “exercitant” to use his imagination to place himself in the company of Jesus, at the foot of the cross, among tormented souls in hell. Garfield met with Martin for spiritual direction, and they swapped reflections via email and Skype. Then he set out for St. Beuno’s, a Jesuit house in Wales, to undertake a seven-day silent retreat.

“If I’d had 10 years, it wouldn’t have been enough to prepare for this role,” Garfield told me. “I got totally swept up in all things Jesuit and very taken with Jesuit spirituality. The preparation went on for nearly a year, and by the time we got to Taiwan, it was bursting out of me.”

It’s not unusual for performers to allude vaguely to their spirituality. But Garfield describes the process with guileless specificity. “On retreat, you enter into your imagination to accompany Jesus through his life from his conception to his crucifixion and resurrection. You are walking, talking, praying with Jesus, suffering with him. And it’s devastating to see someone who has been your friend, whom you love, be so brutalized.” Before Garfield left for Taiwan, Martin gave him a cross he had received as a gift while a Jesuit novice.

“Andrew got to the point where he could out-Jesuit a Jesuit,” Martin told me. “There were places in the script where he would stop and say, ‘A Jesuit wouldn’t say that,’ and we would come up with something else.”

“I don’t think I am called to be a priest,” Garfield said to me resolutely, as if making this film had spurred him to consider the prospect. “But I had the feeling that I was being called to something: called to work with one of the great directors, and called to this role as something I had to pursue for my spiritual development.”

A.O. Scott, now a chief film critic for The New York Times, once wrote that Scorsese approaches filmmaking as “a priestly avocation, a set of spiritual exercises embedded in technical problems.” So it was with “Silence.” “Marty insists on having silence on the set,” Garfield told me. “The silence says: ‘Something is happening here.’?” Scorsese arranged the shooting script chronologically, so the cast could feel the characters’ emotions in sequence. Finally Garfield reached the scene in which Rodrigues steps on the fumie, profaning the God he believes in and renouncing the faith he has come halfway across the world to preach. Actor and director prepared the shot: a bare foot pressed to a piece of copper, the face of Christ worn smooth by the feet of countless apostates before him. “It’s something we had both waited for,” Garfield said, “but Marty had waited much longer — he had waited decades to film that scene.” The director was ready; the priest stepped — and then there was a technical difficulty. “I almost lost my mind, and I think Marty did, too,” Garfield recalled. “He wanted it to be done in one take.” There was a second take, and the priest profaned the image of Christ once and for all.

Before it opens in New York and Los Angeles in December, Silence will be screened in Rome for several hundred Jesuits and for cinephiles at the Vatican.

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Categories Gallery Movie Projects Silence

“Silence” Promotional Stills & Poster

The first official poster for Silence and new promotional stills have been released and you can check in our gallery. Don’t forget: Silence opens on December 23rd.