Andrew Garfield Recalls 'Starving Myself of Sex and Food' While Preparing for 2016 Role

Andrew Garfield had "some pretty wild, trippy experiences" while being celibate for six months getting into character for 2016's Silence

Andrew Garfield attends the 75th Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 12, 2022 in New York City
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Andrew Garfield had "trippy" experiences while giving up sex for a big-screen performance.

The 39-year-old actor appeared on a new episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast to discuss his Emmy-nominated turn on the limited series Under the Banner of Heaven, currently streaming on Hulu.

During the conversation, Garfield defended the style of method acting against "misconceptions" and recalled how committed he was in preparing to play a Jesuit priest in 2016's Silence. That drama was directed by Martin Scorsese and also starred Adam Driver and Liam Neeson.

Garfield said he spent a year studying Catholicism and shadowing a real-life Jesuit priest in New York, Father James Martin, for the part. "He became my friend and sort of spiritual director for a year," said the actor.

"I had an incredibly spiritual experience. I did a bunch of spiritual practices every day, I created new rituals for myself. I was celibate for six months," he recalled, "and fasting a lot, because me and Adam had to lose a bunch of weight anyway."

Andrew Garfield attends the 2022 Time 100 Gala
Taylor Hill/WireImage

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"It was very cool, man," said Garfield, adding that there was also plenty of praying and meditating. "I had some pretty wild, trippy experiences from starving myself of sex and food for that period of time. ... It gives you some gifts, for sure."

In April, Garfield told PEOPLE he was looking forward to taking a break from acting after several back-to-back roles.

"I'm actually really happy and excited to be very quiet and very still and take some time to just be," he said at the time. "It feels very important right now, especially after a lot of output, a lot of being out in the world, and giving a lot of energy to things that I'm very passionate about, but I have to kind of refill the well so that I can carry on authentically carry on without it feeling like I have to keep up with the Joneses in some way."

He added, "It's so tempting to live in that way of just always onto the next thing. But actually, and I know it's a privilege that I get to even consider that, to actually take time."

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