For Hacksaw Ridge, the Mel Gibson-directed film based on WWIl conscientious objector Desmond Doss, composer Rupert Gregson-Williams had to musically navigate both the miraculous grace of love and the brutal ravages of war.
The key, he says, was getting into the head of the Army medic who saved 75 men on the frontline of Okinawa while refusing to carry a gun, and portray Doss as a real man of faith, not as a superhero. “Trying to understand and represent someone's motives whose principles are so specific and deeply spiritual is not an easy task,” Gregson-Williams tells Billboard. “Mel and I both felt it was important not to represent Desmond as a conventional war hero - he wasn't. I wanted to drill down into the spiritual heart of the man and not represent him falsely. Andrew Garfield’s performance is so powerful I didn't need to tell people how brave and special a man he was.”
Garfield is already earning Oscar buzz for his riveting portrayal of the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor. The Summit Entertainment release opens on Nov. 4.