Desmond Doss may not be a household name, but for Andrew Garfield, the lure of playing the war hero in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge was a no-brainer.
The Golden Globe-nominated film stars Garfield as Doss, a World War II medic who, while refusing to carry a gun, saved 75 men during the Battle of Okinawa and eventually became the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Garfield recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his time making the film, which is based on a true story.
“It’s a story about a young man who, against all odds and against a terrible tide of disapproval and misunderstanding and abuse and bullying, stays true to his inner values,” he explained. “I just longed to know this man deeper and to attempt to express his essence and share his story with as many people as possible.”
Garfield also cited Damien Thomlinson, an Afghanistan veteran who lost his legs in battle and played a soldier who also lost his legs in battle in the film, as having a profound impact on the movie’s shoot.
“That scene, Damien having to go back into all that trauma, he was weary, he was hesitant, but ultimately, he knew that it would be very therapeutic for him, very cathartic and healing,” he recalled. “So that was a profound thing. What we were doing was transcendent of making a film, it was being part of a man’s healing of a trauma that they had been through, and that was beautiful.”
Watch the clip from Garfield’s interview above.