If you haven’t been following, method acting – which involves actors essentially living like their character off-screen – has been championed, scrutinized and everything else in recent years.
Jared Leto, for his part, sparked a backlash after it was revealed he had offered his suicide squad costar Margot Robbie a living rat as part of her supposed commitment to embodying the traits of her on-screen persona, the Joker.
“The Joker is someone who doesn’t really respect things like personal space or boundaries,” he said.
On the other end of the spectrum, Sebastian Stan recently spoke out against the practice when he explained how he prepared for his transformative role on the Hulu series. Pam and Tommy.
“I don’t believe in creating chaos in order to [acting]“, he explained in April. “And I know actors do that a lot. There’s a lot of people who do that…create some kind of chaos on set or chaos in the other people they’re working with, in order to kind of give the scene that tension or whatever.
Well, Andrew Garfield has also given his two cents on all of this, coming to the defense of the practice in a brand new interview.
Appearing on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast this Monday, Andrew disclosed that the acting method “worked” for him as he recalled once abstaining from sex and food while preparing for a role in the 2016 film The silence.
Andrew and fellow actor Adam Driver portray Jesuit priests in the historical drama directed by Martin Scorsese.
Now reflecting on the filming experience, Andrew – who previously revealed he studied the role for over a year – told podcast host Marc he found it to be “an experience incredibly spiritual”.
“It worked for me,” he said of the method acting as a practice. “I had an incredibly spiritual experience.”
“I did a bunch of spiritual practices every day,” he said. “I created new rituals for myself. I was single for six months.
Andrew added that he was also fasting “a lot” because he and Adam Driver “had to lose a lot of weight anyway”.
“That was very cool, man,” he said of the whole workout. “I had some pretty crazy, trippy experiences depriving myself of sex and food during this time.”
Andrew went on to defend the acting method more broadly, arguing that it’s “not about being an asshole” to the wider film crew, but rather about “honestly living in imaginary circumstances”.
“I think there’s been a lot of misconceptions about what method of action is,” he said on the podcast.
“It’s not about being an asshole to everyone on set,” he explained. “It’s really about living honestly in imaginary circumstances and being really nice to the crew simultaneously, and being a normal human being, and being able to drop it when you need to – and stay there when you want to stay there.”
“I’m a bit bothered by the misconception,” he continued. “I’m a bit bothered by this idea that ‘method play is bullshit’.”
“It’s like, no, I don’t think you know what method of action is if you call it bullshit,” he said. “Or you just worked with someone who claims to be a method actor who doesn’t apply the method at all.”
And Andrew added that the practice of Method Play is actually “very private”, before finally describing the whole thing as the “creative process”.
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