Liam Neeson appeared at the Los Cabos Film Festival on Saturday to talk about Martin Scorsese’s long-in-the-works historical drama “Silence” which has almost wrapped its lengthy shoot.
For the physically demanding shoot, the already lean Neeson dropped 20 pounds to portray a Jesuit missionary who has reportedly forsaken his faith. Co-stars Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield were similarly reduced to “a piece of wire” in terms of getting skinny.
Talking about Scorsese’s work ethic, Neeson says: “[Scorsese] gives 200%. All he requires is that you give 100%. He’s intimidating. He requires absolute silence on the set – if he hears one tiny sound, it shatters it for him.” However he believes the filmmaker is immensely proud of the movie: “it’s Marty’s true legacy.”
Based on Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, the film has a $51 million budget – failry high for an independently produced feature. Shot mostly around Taiwan, a facsimile of a 17th century Nagasaki monastery was constructed as a part of the film which follows a group of young Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century who were persecuted during their trip to Japan to seek out Neeson’s character.
Production partner Gaston Pavlovich says that while a Cannes premiere would be ideal, the project won’t be rushed if Scorsese isn’t satisfied. Paramount is targeting a late 2016 theatrical release.