Method acting has been much debated recently – sparked by the House of Gucci press tour in November 2021, in which Jared Leto and Lady Gaga’s “methods” were discussed, and an interview with Succession‘s Jeremy Strong published in December 2021. Most of this has very little to do with Stanislavski or Strasberg. In a recent interview with Marc Maron on his much-loved WTF podcast, Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield weighed in on the subject.
He was discussing Silence – Martin Scorsese’s 2016 drama movie about a trio of Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan. Garfield, Adam Driver, and Liam Neeson all lost so much weight for their roles, they are almost unrecognisable. Garfield told Maron about fasting, and also practicing celibacy for six months in order to prepare for the role.
“It was very cool, man,” Garfield told Maron. “I had some pretty wild, trippy experiences from starving myself of sex and food at that time. There [have] been a lot of misconceptions about what method acting is, I think. People are still acting in that way, and it’s not about being an asshole to everyone on set.”
Garfield tried to set the record straight regarding the Method; “It’s actually just about living truthfully under imagined 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 staying in it when you want to stay in it.”
Regarding the misconceptions surrounding the Method, Garfield said; “I don’t think you know what method acting is if you’re calling it bullshit, or you just worked with someone who claims to be a method actor who isn’t actually acting the Method at all.”
Isaac Butler timed the publication of his book; “The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act” in February 2022 well, as it’s a subject that has become a source of much discussion and debate once again. These things tend to go in cycles, and it will surely keep coming up – probably during awards season when actors are competing for who can do the best impression in a biopic.
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