Andrew Garfield Says Working With Martin Scorsese Was "A Gift" at 'Silence' Premiere

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Andrew Garfield

Almost three decades in the making, “I think he [Scorsese] and everyone here who participated, they will be celebrated for many years to come for this picture,” said Paramount Pictures head Brad Grey at the film's L.A. premiere.

Silence, the Martin Scorsese film that was 28 years in the making, finally had its official Los Angeles premiere at the Directors Guild Theater on Thursday.

“I hope you’re prepared to go into another world for a little while,” Scorsese told a packed theater before the screening.

Filming Silence has been a multidecade labor of love for the legendary director. Adapted from a Shûsaku Endô novel first published in 1966, the film follows two Catholic missionaries, played by Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield, as they search for their mentor, portrayed by Liam Neeson, who disappeared in 17th-century Japan amidst a wave of anti-Christian persecution.

“He wants you at your most unknown,” Garfield said about working with Scorsese. “He wants you at your most spontaneous. Your most daring and far reaching beyond what you know of yourself as a person and as an actor. So that was a gift to me.”

Finding the financing for the film took years, and required the actors and above the line crew to all work for scale.

“It’s a story that’s so rich and important for our times,” Garfield said about what drew him to the script. “How do you truly sacrifice yourself to serve others? Because that’s what a life of service to God seems to me to be. It’s what a life of faith seems to me to be. By not treating yourself as god or a false idol, which obviously, we have a lot of in our culture right now.”

Scorsese once again teamed up with producer Irwin Winkler, in a collaboration that has yielded five movies, including the classics Goodfellas and Raging Bull.

“Strangely enough when you make a movie with Marty, you’re not the outsider. You’re the insider. So it’s very, very satisfactory as far as creativity is concerned. So for a producer that is a great gift,” Winkler said about the strength of their working together.

Based on the rapturous applause that greeted the end of the film, many in the audience seemed to agree with the sentiments of Paramount Pictures head Brad Grey, who introduced the film by saying, “I think he [Scorsese] and everyone here who participated, they will be celebrated for many years to come for this picture.”