If you haven’t been following, method acting, which involves actors essentially living as their character off-screen, has been advocated. scrutinizedand everything else in recent years.
Jared Leto, for example, provoked a strong reaction after it was revealed that he gave away his suicide squad co-star Margot Robbie a live rat as part of her purported commitment to embody the traits of her on-screen character, the Joker.
“The Joker is someone who doesn’t really respect things like personal space or boundaries,” he said.
At the other end of the spectrum, Sebastian Stan recently spoke against the practice as he detailed how he prepared for his transformative role on the Hulu series Pam and Tommy.
“I don’t believe in creating chaos for the purpose of [acting]”, he explained in April. “And I know actors do that a lot. There’s a lot of people who do that…it creates a kind of chaos on set or chaos with the other people they’re working with, to kind of give the scene this tension or whatever.”
Well, Andrew Garfield has now thrown his grain of sand into the whole thing too, speaking out in defense of the practice during a new interview.
Andrew and fellow actor Adam Driver play Jesuit priests in the historical drama, which was directed by Martin Scorsese.
Reflecting on the filming experience now, Andrew, who previously revealed who studied the role for more than a year, told podcast host Marc that he found it “an incredibly spiritual experience.”
“It worked for me,” he said of the method acting as practice. “I had an incredibly spiritual experience.”
“I did a lot of spiritual practices every day,” he said. “I created new rituals for myself. I was celibate for six months.”
Andrew added that he also fasted “a lot” because he and Adam Driver “had to lose a lot of weight anyway.”
“It was great, man,” he said of the entire practice. “I had some pretty wild and mind-blowing experiences depriving myself of sex and food during that period of time.”
Andrew went on to defend method acting more broadly, arguing that “it’s not about being an asshole” to the film crew in general, but about “living truthfully in imaginary circumstances”.
“I think there have been a lot of misconceptions about what method acting is,” he said on the podcast.
“It’s not about being an asshole to everyone on set,” he explained. “It’s really about honestly living in imagined circumstances and being very nice to the crew at the same time, and being a normal human being, and being able to leave it when you need to, and stay in it when you want.”
“I’m a little upset about the misconception,” he continued. “The idea that ‘method acting sucks’ bothers me a bit.”
“It’s like, no, I don’t think you know what method acting is if you call it nonsense,” he said. “Or you just worked with someone who claims to be a method actor who isn’t actually acting according to method at all.”
And Andrew added that method acting practice is actually “very private”, before finally describing the whole thing as the “creation process”.