May 23, 2022 6:25 AM EDT

Casting the lead in my adaptation of Silence was not easy: the role was demanding on every level. When Andrew Garfield came to audition, I could see right away that he understood the character of Rodrigues. He gave all of himself to the role. In preparation, he actually completed the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, which is quite an undertaking. Once we started work, I understood that Andrew could get to any emotional level the story called for, sometimes immediately. I developed a sense of confidence and trust in him that I’ve found all too rarely. Quite often, when we were getting ready to shoot one of the many emotionally difficult scenes that Andrew and I had painstakingly worked on for months, I found myself checking in with him, seeing that he had gotten himself into the zone, and then just leaving him be. Sometimes I just listened. I knew that he was giving the moment exactly what it needed. He’s a remarkable artist, one of the greats of his generation.

Scorsese is an Oscar-­winning filmmaker

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