Actor Andrew Garfield has backed Pope Francis in questioning President-elect Donald Trump's Christian faith.
Trump often spoke of his faith while he was on the campaign trail prior to November's (16) presidential election. However he became embroiled in a dispute with the Catholic leader when the Pope said his promise to build a wall on the Mexican-U.S. border was not compatible with Christian belief.
The President-elect hit back at the Pope's remarks, accusing the pontiff of being manipulated into making the criticisms by the Mexican government.
Andrew says his role in new film Silence, for which spent a year studying as a Jesuit priest, has given him a greater understanding of Christianity and he has now accused Trump of using faith as a political ploy.
"It's all a ruse," the actor told The Guardian. "How can that not be clear to everybody? When the pope says that Jesus Christ was about building bridges, not building walls. And then Donald Trump bashes the pope - in effect, he bashes Jesus Christ."
Silence premiered at the Vatican, the headquarters of the Catholic Church, and the film's director Martin Scorsese said Pope Francis had jokingly recommended Andrew be ordained as a priest.
The actor is a great admirer of the pontiff, singling out his work on changing Catholic doctrine to be more tolerant of people's sexual preferences.
He explained, "I love the pope - he's a really progressive guy. He's talking progressively about the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community. He's turning the dial up slowly, by however much he can. He's doing that 'slow work of God' stuff."
Although of Jewish heritage, Andrew says he was of no fixed faith before making Silence but has continued to turn to his Jesuit mentor Father James Martin for spiritual advice in building a "very specific relationship with Jesus".
Silence has begun hitting cinemas.