Andrew Garfield, famous for "Spider-Man", once told the Hollywood Reporter, “I consider myself pantheist, agnostic, occasionally atheist and a little bit Jewish, but mostly confused.” But the actor shared in an interview with Stephen Colbert earlier this year that his preparation for his latest film, “Silence,” changed his perspective on Jesus in a profound way.
Ironically, the film’s central theme is that of losing, not igniting, faith. The story follows Jesuit priests that abandon their faiths in the face of Japanese persecution. But Garfield told America Magazine that as he got into character, he fell in love with Jesus. He said, “What was really easy was falling in love with this person, was falling in love with Jesus Christ. That was the most surprising thing… That was the most remarkable thing—falling in love, and how easy it was to fall in love with Jesus.”
Garfield doesn’t claim Jesus as his Lord in any interviews, but it is clear from his comments that his work on “Silence” has lead this atheist to some real soul-searching. He spoke about the spiritual exercises he practiced to get into character in the months leading up to filming:
The one experience that I wouldn’t want to sacrifice, if I had to choose…it would have been going through those Exercises. It brings me so much consolation. It’s such a humbling thing because it shows me that you can devote a year of your life to spiritual transformation, sincerely longing and putting that longing into action, to creating relationship with Christ and with God, you can then lose 40 pounds of weight, sacrifice for your art, pray every day, live celibate for six months, make all these sacrifices in service of God, in service of what you believe God is calling you into, and even after all of that heart and soul, that humble offering…that humility…even after all of that someone is going to throw a stone and dismiss it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful grace to be given, to be shown.
You can watch Andrew Garfield’s interview with Stephen Colbert in the video below.
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