Emerging from a decade-long hiatus, #MelGibson has returned to the big screen with a heroically pacifistic bang. His latest directorial offering, #HacksawRidge, a biopic about a pacifist US Army medic who received the Medal Of Honor after bravely saving many lives during WWII, was released in the US three days ago to critical and box office acclaim. Receiving a ten minute standing ovation at its world premiere in the 73rd Venice Film Festival, Hacksaw Ridge clearly strikes a cord with the critics and the everyday movie lover alike, and has firmly pushed Gibson back into a (much needed) favorable light.
But, like all great movies, Hacksaw Ridge contains more than that what meets the eye. Lurking behind the vivid special effects and dazzling acting was a cameo so stealthy that you'll blink, and almost certainly miss it.
Andrew Garfield's Unique Acting Challenge
The logistics of filming can prove disastrously complex. With actors and crew working with often busy, conflicting schedules, it can seem impossible to make sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time. This is especially the case when it comes to filming re-takes, as Hacksaw Ridge's unusual cameo demonstrates.
During filming of the courtroom scene in which Desmond Doss (#AndrewGarfield), the pacifist protagonist of the movie, is being imprisoned because of his unusual role as a conscientious objector within the army, Garfield was faced with a rather unique acting challenge.
It All Got A Bit Arm-y
Scheduled to play opposite Hugo Weaving who plays his alcoholic father Tom Doss, Garfield was fully prepared to be acting opposite him in the courtroom scene, however Weaving's schedule didn't allow for this which resulted in a last-minute stand in. Speaking at the Hacksaw Ridge press conference in LA, Gibson revealed that he actually had to step in as Weaving and star in his own film stating:
"I was in it! My arm is in it. True story, I said to Hugo [Weaving], ‘Come do this.’ He said, ‘Yeah okay.’ And then he changed his mind. The scheduling was such that he couldn’t do the scene in the courtroom, so I did it. There’s my hand and shadow and stuff and we green screened him in later. He wasn’t actually there."
At this point, Garfield spoke up, revealing that not only was he not able to act opposite his on-screen father, but that Mel didn't even bother to get into costume for the role, giving Garfield an extra acting challenge. Here's what he said about the peculiar incident:
"I wasn’t acting opposite Hugo in that scene. I was acting with Mel in his jeans and tee shirt off camera. We were trying to convince him to put the whole bloody costume on, but he didn’t."