Actors Andrew Garfield and Andy Serkis came to Deadline’s 7th annual The Contenders event, but in this case Serkis was there to talk about his directorial debut on Breathewhile Garfield told the packed DGA Theater audience of Academy and key guild members that playing polio-stricken Robin Cavendish was not as much an acting challenge as it was a “living challenge.”

Deadline

During the film’s panel at the all-day awards-season staple earlier this month, Serkis described how the film was financed in just seven weeks ,and then shot in the same amount of time. He says it was a very personal project for him, and describes the involvement and support of Robin’s widow, Diana Cavendish, as well as their son Jonathan who produced the film. Garfield described one of the film’s main themes as learning to connect with ourselves no matter what the obstacles.

Breathe was presented in distributor Bleecker Street’s portion of The Contenders lineup.

Check out our conversation above.