Actor Andrew Garfield was sent to learn about Christ for his latest movie role and came back with what he calls a “deep” relationship with God.
Garfield is best known for his performances in the two "Amazing Spider-Man" movies and Mel Gibson's "Hacksaw Ridge," but now he will be starring as a Jesuit priest in director Martin Scorsese's new historical drama "Silence."
It is a story about two Jesuit priests who face persecution as they search for their missing mentor in Japan.
Garfield and his cast mate, Adam Driver, were sent to a Jesuit retreat to prepare for their roles. Their days were immersed in scripture, Jesuit traditions, and prayer.
Garfield says the retreat gave him direction in a time of spiritual confusion. "I was filled up with all this information and all this longing to spread the teachings of Christ, which I truly started to adore," he told Hollywood Reporter.
However, the actor, who is of Jewish descent, is still unsure about what he believes in.
"I'm not a Christian person. I consider myself pantheist, agnostic, occasionally atheist, and a little bit Jewish, but mostly confused," he said.
Despite his questions, Garfield says his doubts drive him to understand the truth about God.
"I'm a believer with some doubts," he says. "But the doubts push me to find a purer sense of the other, a purer sense, if you want, of the word 'God.' "
Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest, was a spiritual mentor and advisor to Garfield. He helped him have a better grasp of who God is.
"He gave me spiritual direction as if I were a Jesuit in training," Garfield says. "It became a very personal journey for me."
Martin helped Garfield see Christ in a way he never had before.
"It's almost like a 12-step program," he explained. "In fact, it's the basis for a lot of 12-step programs, a long form meditation and prayer spent imagining the life of Christ, story by story, gospel by gospel, and sitting with his teachings, sitting with Him as He discovers who He is in the wilderness, and really meditating upon His life and even crucifixion."
Garfield says he owes it to his Jesuit mentor for giving him guidance as he deals with his own spiritual confusion.
"A Jesuit priest gave me the tools and guidance to create my own very deep, intimate relationship with God," he says.