Discussing God with Andrew Garfield of SILENCE

Discussing God with Andrew Garfield of SILENCE

By Evy Baehr, Executive Managing Editor

It’s a rainy Saturday afternoon in Beverly Hills, and the last interviews before Christmas, but this one I knew I wanted to get. Let’s back up a week before to the screening of SILENCE, directed by Martin Scorsese. Before, SILENCE was a popular book where the main character denounced his faith. The book was controversial in the Christian community, but the question was, does the movie negatively portray faith or is it different from the book? Did Scorsese pull a Last Temptation or veer from the book and create a positive portrayal of faith?

Well, what we found after leaving the movie screening is that SILENCE may actually show that Scorsese is really questioning, once again, what is faith and coming to the point of accepting. The movie shows a character who’s persecuted for his faith, yet doesn’t stop trusting in God’s plan. (check the full review here).

That rainy night in Beverly Hills, we got a chance to talk it over with Andrew Garfield, who played Father Rodrigues and his point of view on the meaning. Garfield told us more about his character:

“These two priests actually are coming to the country with this certainty that is very dangerous. It takes the destruction of Rodrigues’ ego that has to die in order for him to truly live a life of service in the faith, humble service. . . . Knowing that he knows nothing and God knows all, to understand the will of God, how do you begin to understand the will of God?”

Garfield has played two characters in the last year who have shown strong Christian faith in the midst of tragedy, first in Mel Gibson’s HACKSAW RIDGE and now in Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE. So, we wanted to know if he too, like his characters, is questioning the will of God.

“Is that something you think about?” I asked.

“Yeah, a lot,” he replied.

“Was it the movies that led to the question of God’s will, or was that something you questioned before?”

“Chicken and egg,” Andrew responded. “I think it’s like I was drawn to it because I was asking those questions already, and then that just kind of enriched my experience by doing these films.”

Garfield has been in the entertainment industry for years now and has grown as an actor. In SILENCE, he shows real depth in playing a complex character.

“Among the people that you’ve worked with,” I asked, “who has motivated you the most and helped you grow when in your craft?”

“A lot of people,” he said. “Marty [Scorsese] is one of those people that really inspires me, Marty (Martin Scorsese) and Thelma Schoonmaker [the editor of SILENCE and another MOVIEGUIDE® Award winning movie].

“I only spent time with them recently. It’s obviously I was working with Marty day in, day out for a long time, but I think now I have had a chance to reflect on it. After the fact, spending time with him, I see the life that he’s lived, which is a life of devotion to. . . the image inside himself, the creativity, he things that bursting out of him to be expressed. If I can live a life devoted to art in that way, then I will have lived a good one.”

SILENCE opens wide throughout America and Canada on January 13. Make sure to read MOVIEGUIDE®’s full review of SILENCE here.

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