Actor Andrew Garfield went to great lengths to portray heroic polio victim Robin Cavendish in new movie Breathe, even wearing teeth modeled after those of his character’s son.
Jonathan Cavendish, the film’s producer, admits he was amazed by the young Brit’s dedication to details as he acted out his late father’s life in Andy Serkis’ directorial debut.
“He talked to people who’d been in the Army to learn how my father would stand,” the producer explains. “He had cricket lessons. He even rather alarmingly had a plate of my teeth made to wear in the film, because my teeth and my father’s are quite similar.”
Serkis was a huge fan of The Amazing Spider-Man star from the moment they first met and started discussing the project, which would require Garfield to spend the majority of the film acting completely paralyzed from the neck down.
“Andrew is absolutely extraordinary,” the director gushes. “He’s a phenomenal actor who leaves no stone unturned.
“The part is a very complex, hugely challenging emotional roller coaster. But, for the most part, Andrew is sitting or laying down, only able to express himself through his facial muscles and the intensity of his performance.”
Serkis adds, “Andrew is such a chameleon – and so hard-working. We had a great deal of film footage of Robin (Cavendish) and the people around him, and he totally immersed himself in it throughout the entire period of prep (preparation) and the shoot.”
And the role really impacted the leading man too.
Garfield tells WENN, “It must have been devastating for a man like Robin to be dependent. Ultimately, he was able to incorporate a new identity, a new way of living in the world, and that was a lovely challenge to figure out.”