- Title: Andrew Garfield on his award-nominated role in "Hacksaw Ridge"
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: VENICE, ITALY (FILE - SEPTEMBER 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF CAST AND CREW OF "HACKSAW RIDGE", INCLUDING DIRECTOR MEL GIBSON AND ACTORS ANDREW GARFIELD AND VINCE VAUGHN, ON RED CARPET AT VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 20:58
- Keywords: Hacksaw Ridge screening Andrew Garfield movie Mel Gibson Bafta Second World War
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / VENICE, ITALY / VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / VENICE, ITALY / VARIOUS FILM LOCATIONS
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA0035ZLV0B1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Hollywood star Andrew Garfield presented "Hacksaw Ridge", an awards-tipped war drama directed by Mel Gibson, at a special screening in London on Wednesday (January 18).
According to studio Lionsgate, the film tells the true story of Desmond Doss (played by Garfield) who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of the Second World War, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. Doss was the only American soldier in WW2 to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honour.
When asked whether the themes of non-violence and compassion would resonate with audiences given the current international political climate, Garfield told Reuters that he found people were drawn to Doss's "fascinating" character.
"In America, people have responded to this film so much, which is very heartening because, obviously, in the United States, it's a very divided nation and there's not a lot of deep listening going on, there's not a lot of compassion being accessed for the other side of the political rift or the other side of the political argument. I think Desmond as a man that personifies 'live and let live', he's a man that personifies love, he's a man that personifies the idea that we all need each other," said the 33-year-old actor.
"He was just a fascinating man that was in touch with the knowledge that we're all brothers and sisters. It's a very, very strange thing. But I think it is a story for now in that regard," he added.
Since having its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival in September, "Hacksaw Ridge" has gone on to gross more than $157 million globally. Garfield commented on why historic war dramas seem to perform better at the box office than films on more recent conflicts.
"Are we too close to the conflicts we're in right now? Maybe we're not ready to reflect on them yet because - if we look at what we're doing too closely - we'll have to be more engaged and if we have to be more engaged we have to change our lives completely and we have to quit our jobs and we have to become activists all of us. I don't know. There's so much potentially to feel about what's happening in our world that I think it's a very human thing to delay and to not deal with things until they're far enough away to be able to see them clearly, more objectively."
Garfield's turn as Desmond Doss is generating plenty of Oscar buzz and he's already garnered several high-profile nominations for the role. He was previously nominated for a Golden Globe and Bafta in 2011 for "The Social Network", but said he felt "panicky" back then with the "overwhelming" attention.
"I'm a bit older so I feel a bit more comfortable in those rooms and...I'm not as panicky because it's an overwhelming thing...It's very stressful but this time it's been kind of fun and fine and enjoyable and I feel a bit more comfortable."
"Hacksaw Ridge" opens in cinemas in the UK on January 27.
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