Actor Andrew Garfield is adorable talking about his relationship with Jesus (VIDEO)

In Actors on Acting, the star of Silence and Hacksaw Ridge talks to Amy Adams about how he meditated on St. Ignatius Loyola in preparation for his roles, and made a personal discovery along the way.

Andrew Garfield at the screening of "Hacksaw Ridge" on October 2016 in Beverly Hills. Gregg DeGuire | WireImage

If you’re under the impression that all actors are vapid or “just a pretty face,” we call your attention to this wide-ranging, thoughtful discussion between Amy Adams and Andrew Garfield, on their installment in Variety‘s web series Actors on Acting.

Adams, star of Arrival, and Garfield, star of Hacksaw Ridge and Silence, talk about, of course, their parts in these new films, as well as the methods they use to prepare for roles. Of particular interest is Garfield’s preparation for Silence (a Scorsese-directed film about two Portuguese Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in the 17th Century to find their mentor, who has been tortured). The actor met with Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest in New York (and the source for our story 7 Thanksgiving table peace-keeping tips—from a missionary) for guidance in preparing for the role of a Jesuit priest.

Fr. Martin directed Garfield towards St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises in a practice Garfield describes as a kind of 30-day retreat, a meditation on the life of Jesus from birth to resurrection. Garfield reports being profoundly changed by this work, which came as a surprise to someone who was not raised in any religion, or, as he puts it, raised as a “question mark.” Garfield seems almost embarrassed by what he discovered, going through the Spiritual Exercises—that he now has “an actual relationship to Jesus … It’s a sincerely transformative process.”

Martin Scorsese directing Andrew Garfield playing Father Sebastião Rodrigues in Silence, 2016. Paramount Pictures |
Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, 2016. Summit Entertainment |
Andrew Garfield playing Father Sebastião Rodrigues in Silence, 2016. Paramount Pictures |

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It’s a remarkable moment in a thoughtful conversation, and Adams responds by saying, “Seekers find a relationship with something … that sort of the idea of being a seeker is finding something larger than yourself.”

Garfield’s had an impressive career for such a young actor (he played Spiderman in the most recent Columbia Pictures/Marvel versions of the film), but Silence and Hacksaw Ridge, both about men of faith in very difficult circumstances, are now on my must-see list. If you’re interested in how actors transform for roles, both spiritually otherwise, this 30-minute video is a great primer. Garfield discusses his work with Fr. Martin beginning at about the 15-minute mark.


Leigh Anderson
Leigh Anderson

Leigh Anderson is the author of “The Games Bible: The Rules, The Gear, The Strategies” (Workman, 2010) and has written for Vox,, and Popular Science, among others.

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