Andrew Garfield's challenging role

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 23 November 2017
Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield

Andrew Garfield said he found playing Robin Cavendish in 'Breathe' was more of a "living challenge" rather than an "acting challenge"

Andrew Garfield didn't find it an "acting challenge" to play a paralysed man in 'Breathe'.

The 34-year-old actor is currently starring in Andy Serkis' directorial debut as Robert Cavendish - who was diagnosed with polio and left paralysed by the illness - and, although he didn't feel it tested his acting ability, it forced him to connect with people with "this very limited ability of expression" and do them justice in the movie.

Speaking to Deadline, Garfield said: "It's so strange. I never saw it as an acting challenge, I saw it as a living challenge as Robin would have seen it because he was a non-disabled person up until the age of 28 and he was very athletic, he was a captain in the army, he was a cricket player.

"He experienced the world through his body, he connected with the world through his physicality and of course at the age of 28 to have that stripped away is a remarkable thing to attempt to reconcile and to integrate that experience who are you now?

"That's the question I think he was asking himself of who am I? What is my value, what is my worth? I suppose he got to know himself internally, I think.

"He was forced to know himself very very deeply inside and after about a year and a half of kind of suicidal thoughts and depression and not really knowing if he wanted to carry on living.

"He eventually decided he is going to carry on living because of the love of his wife. That was the question, how do I connect with people with this very limited ability of expression, how do I connect with the world with this paralysis, which is a universal thing, we all have certain paralysis in our lives that inhabit us."

'Breathe' also stars 'The Crown' actress Claire Foy as Garfield's on-screen wife Diana and it was produced by Robin's real life son Jonathan Cavendish, who runs The Imaginarium Studios production company with Serkis.