Liam Neeson Talks 'Silence' and Martin Scorsese's "Intimidating" Style

Even a story on a film that has nothing to do with Star Wars can't completely escape its gravitational pull. Martin Scorsese's long-awaited period drama, Silence, has Liam Neeson and Adam Driver, one who was part of the prequel trilogy and the latter in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For Neeson, it was a chance to reunite with Scorsese who he worked with on Gangs of New York, and also to do something different from the action movies he's been anchored to for the last few years. But it wasn't easy, and as Neeson recounted at the Los Cabos Film Festival, Scorsese's demands could be pretty scary...

"Martin is intimidating. He’s legendary — so as a performer you have to get over that. I had to get over that…He require[s] absolute silence on set, like everybody has to stop work when he’s giving a direction or explaining a scene. I mean everybody — the guy that’s painting 400 yards away has to stop. If he hears one tiny sound it’s shattered for him so he commands that respect. He commands that silence and especially for this film it was necessary”

Neeson also revealed that he, Driver, and Andrew Garfield lost 20lbs for the role because Scorsese wanted them to look "gaunt", and some of that can be seen in the newly-released image above. The film is based on Shusaku Endo's book and follows two 17th-century Jesuit priests who face violent persecution while in Japan looking for their mentor.

While the film is expected to open some time in 2016, producer Gaston Pavlovich says the hope is to have it ready to premiere at Cannes.