Andrew Garfield has been busy this past year, delivering performances in two of the year’s best movies, “Silence” and “Hacksaw Ridge.” The critical acclaim of his turn in the Mel Gibson-directed picture nabbed him an Oscar nomination Tuesday morning for best actor. Shortly after the announcement, Garfield spoke with The Times from London about the recognition:
Where are you now?
I’m in London rehearsing a play, “Angels in America,” at the National Theater on the South Bank in London. I just finished my first morning rehearsal and went to lunch at the canteen and my agent called me screaming. I kind of assumed it was a good scream.
This is your first Oscar nomination. How does it feel?
I’m still feeling it—I can’t describe it really. All actors, before they know they want to be actors, even people who aren’t actors, fantasize about winning an Oscar. The best thing that can happen is to have someone affected by the work you’re doing. I feel very deeply reassured that I’m on the trajectory that I’m supposed to be on. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be with my life at this point. If there was any doubt in my mind —and there’s always a lot — the academy members, whose opinion I value, seem to think I’m on the right track.
Are you particularly happy that the film you were nominated for bears a pacifist message during a time of global turmoil?
Absolutely. To be a vessel for a story that is urgent for the times we’re in, for me as an actor, is all I can wish for. I think the world is crying out for this story and that is the ultimate gratification. To think, you’re adding something healing and soulful to the culture, something that’s authentic. People can feel it when something healing and beautiful and loving is happening. I think Desmond Doss was a personification of love. Those are virtues the world needs now. We need humility and we all need to show up as ourselves in all our unique callings.
I’m so inspired by the women’s march and everything else that is happening in terms of rallying against this culture of separatism and alternate facts, and the lies that are being peddled, and the ego that is being lived out. Desmond Doss was the antithesis of these qualities. Everyone is being woken up and called to action in some way. I just hope we do the unique thing that we are called to do. Not one of us can fix things; it’s going to take every human being to shift the tide. America won’t be brought down by one man’s ego.
Mel Gibson congratulated you by name in the reaction statement he issued. How does that make you feel?
It’s wonderful! This film is a real partnership. My performance as Desmond is as much Mel’s as it is mine. It’s as much of Vince Vaughan… and the rest of the battalion of lads. Every nomination or award is an ensemble one. All this means is that I was held up and supported by incredible artists, and above all, Mel, who really shaped this performance with me and [editor] John Gilbert in the edit room.