Andrew Garfield: Playing real hero very different from playing superhero
In a complete reversal from playing Spider-Man, the role he is best known for, Andrew Garfield has two serious movies coming out back to back.
There is Mel Gibson's war movie Hacksaw Ridge, in which Garfield plays a conscientious objector who wins a Congressional Medal of Honor, and Martin Scorsese's Silence, opening here Feb 9 where he plays a Catholic priest.
Garfield has come a long way since he first registered on Hollywood's radar at age 27, getting a Golden Globe nomination for his supporting role in The Social Network in 2010.
That same year, he was cast in the coveted Spider-Man role.
Now 33, the Brit actor says he still feels like he's just starting out.
"I feel like I am just beginning and forever learning, and forever grateful that I get to be a part of this maddening profession and that I get to tell stories that mean something."
Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of a US army medic, Desmond Doss, who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without carrying a gun.
Garfield was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance and is in the running for a Bafta as well.
Playing a real hero and one in spandex is "tonally different".
"You are in different worlds even though you have to believe the reality. There had been so many iterations of Spider-Man that it's going to be impossible to give a definitive performance.
"Whereas with Desmond, there was only one Desmond. So how do you honour that one unique soul? There was a little less pressure in a way because he didn't put the pressure on himself to be any more than what he was. He is who he is.
"So the preparation is similar in the sense of the responsibility that I feel, but actually the act of playing the parts were very, very, different."
Director Mel Gibson impressed him as one whom he could trust to "give my heart and soul without holding anything back".
"After spending time with (Gibson), and of course seeing his movies, I was supremely confident that he not only knows performance, but that he was going to be a very loving, nurturing and caring leader on set.
"Not just with me, but with everybody.
"It truly felt like we all were in an active service to Desmond as his life was devoted to service to his brothers."