15 Facts from the Cast and Crew of Hacksaw Ridge
It has been 10 years since Mel Gibson sat in the director’s chair but this weekend he is back with a powerful war film that is sure to recieve a lot of buzz come award season.
On October 22, 2016, I attended the International press conference for Hacksaw Ridge in Los Angeles. The conference featured Mel Gibson, Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Luke Bracey, Vince Vaughn, Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight, William D. Johnson, among others. The 45 minute press conference was filled with a wide range of questions that were answered in such an informative and thoughtful manner.
Hacksaw Ridge is biographical war film about World War II American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss brought to life on the big screen by Andrew Garfield. What makes Doss’ story so unique is that he enlisted in the US Army but never once used a weapon. Doss went on to save over 75 lives without ever firing a gun. Hacksaw Ridge has been screened all over the country and has received high praise from almost all who have seen it. We Live Entertainment’s very own Nick Casaletto stated that the film’s war scenes “rivaled the “D-Day” scene from Saving Private Ryan.” That is pretty high praise considering Saving Private Ryan was nominated for a total of eleven Academy Awards and won five of the eleven.
Instead of trying to capture the entire press conference, I thought I would pull out a few interesting peices of information that I learned at the event. These are random facts that I found to be the most insightful that the cast and crew shared. Please feel free to share your own thoughts on Hacksaw Ridge with us in the comment box below.
15. When figuring out how to tell the story for Desmond Doss co-writer Andrew Knight pointed out that he couldn’t tell his story without incorporating the religious aspect since reglion shaped who Doss was as a person.
14. According to Vince Vaughn, he tried to connect with the moment but was so fascinated watching Mel’s direct the film.
13. Teresa Palmer said that there was a lot of self imposed pressure to play this role. Palmer spent a large amount of time researching the real Dorothy Schutte and saw how important their relationship was in real life. She wanted to make sure that she was able to bring that relationship to life in the film.
12. Hacksaw Ridge was shot in 59 days. There were a few days dedicated to reshoots but the vast majority of the film was shot in 59 days.
11. A stunt coordinator told the story of Desmond Doss’ to Andrew Knight. At first, Knight didn’t believe his story and was fascinated by it. He started to inquire about obtaining the rights but intially there was no interest in allowing Hollywood to tell Desmond’s story.
10. There is a court room scene in Hacksaw Ridge where audiences will see Hugo Weaving’s character Tom Doss. Gibson pointed out that Weaving is actually not in that scene. Gibson used green screen technology to add him into the scene.
9. Mel Gibson believes that the cast of Hacksaw Ridge delivered the best work of their careers in the film.
8. When Desmond T. Doss’ son saw the film, he told Andrew Garfield that he truly became his father in the film.
7. Robert Schenkkan had to obtain the licensing rights for Doss’ story from his church. One of the requirements of using Doss’ story was that they weren’t allowed to contradict his story.
6. Luke Bracey stated that everyone was completely committed to the project. He said that everyone did their homework and was ready to take on whatever was needed to give it there all.
5. In order to prep for the role, Andrew Garfield went down to Tennesee and visited Doss’ property. He touched things in his house and even prayed to him.
4. Vince Vaughn stated that the writing was tremendous and worked with Gibson’s direction to show every aspect of being in war.
3. Gibson pointed out that Hacksaw Ridge was made on half the budget of Braveheart and was done in half of the time.
2. When asked about his co-star Teresa Palmer, Andrew Garfield spoked very highly of her as an actress. He stated that Teresa “embodies unconditional love. Garfield felt that she could do no wrong and brought his performance up a bit in the film.
1. Andrew Garfield said that is very rare as an actor to read a script and say, “oh God, I have to do this film.” This is how Andrew Garfield felt after reading the script for Hacksaw Ridge.