Training for months is passé. Everybody has been to a dialect coach or four. Aspirating fake cocaine until you have to be hospitalized is very 2013. The hot new way to full commit yourself to a role is to basically become a Catholic priest, and then if you still can’t get an Oscar nomination, what more could you have done? Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver both took a deep religious dive while preparing for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film Silence, which follows the tumultuous journey of two Jesuit missionaries searching for their mentor in 17th-century Japan. In a new New York Times profile, Garfield details his elaborate preparation for the role, culminating in a seven-day silence retreat at St. Bueno’s Jesuit house in Wales. “If I’d had ten years, it wouldn’t have been enough to prepare for this role,” Garfield tells the Times. “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.” If a year of religious study doesn’t sound too emotionally taxing, clearly you’re underestimating the Hacksaw Ridge actor’s commitment. “On retreat, you enter into your imagination to accompany Jesus through his life from his conception to his crucifixion and resurrection,” Garfield explains. “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.”
In a very “Christian Bale in The Machinist” move, Driver also dropped an unbelievable amount of weight for the role. “Fifty-one pounds,” he says. “It’s about control, and as an actor you want to have control.” The co-stars arrived at their Jesuit retreat almost simultaneously but “pledged to silence, the two actors waved when they spied each other in the refectory.” As it turns out, Silence will get a 2016 release date after all, meaning these two could hypothetically go up against each other during awards season. Spiritually tortured brother against spiritually tortured brother: very Catholic. The Academy is going to love it.