Adam Driver talks his 'extreme' 50lb weight loss for Scorsese's Silence

Ben Arnold
Driver… dropped 50lbs for Scorsese’s new movie – Credit: Paramount

‘Silence’ star Adam Driver has been speaking about his ‘extreme’ 50lb weight loss for Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming movie.

In a cover story for Interview magazine, Driver is interviewed by the director Noah Baumbach, who refers to the ‘rigorous’ prep he did for the role.

“He asked us to lose weight,” says Driver. “When the movie begins, the characters have been traveling for two years, from Portugal to Macau, sailed around Africa. There’s disease and shortage of food. They’re already kind of depleted when they get to Macau before their last leg to Japan.

(Credit: Paramount)

“There’s a lot of storytelling happening off camera. When we come in, the stakes are already so high, and then we continue to lose weight. He wanted to see that physically. He asked us to lose a lot of weight.

“I didn’t know how much that was going to be. And, I can’t control what’s happening in scenes, but I could control when I ate food.

“And that visual part of the storytelling, I don’t think I’ve ever taken it to the extreme before. It’s an interesting thing. You’re so hungry and so tired at some points that there’s nothing you can do—you’re not adding anything on top of what you’re doing.

“You only have enough energy to convey what you’re doing, so it’s great. There are other times where a scene’s not working and you don’t have the energy to figure out why it’s not working.”

(Credit: Paramount)

Driver looks emaciated in the trailer for the drama, which tells the story of Portuguese missionaries travelling to Japan to try and find their missing mentor, played by Liam Neeson.

The pair also went on a retreat of silence with Jesuit priests in North Wales as part of their research for the roles.

Garfield has said they stopped just short of becoming men of the cloth.

“If I’d had ten years, it wouldn’t have been enough to prepare for this role,” he told the New York Times.

(Credit: Paramount)

“I got totally swept up in all things Jesuit and very taken with Jesuit spirituality. The preparation went on for nearly a year, and by the time we got to Taiwan, it was bursting out of me.

“On retreat, you enter into your imagination to accompany Jesus through his life from his conception to his crucifixion and resurrection.

“You are walking, talking, praying with Jesus, suffering with him. And it’s devastating to see someone who has been your friend, whom you love, be so brutalized.”

The movie is out in the UK on January 1.

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