Willem Dafoe Explains How 40 Years of Playing Gods and Monsters Primed Him for ‘Poor Things’

Jan 17, 2024
Dimitris Passas

NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Variety (by Peter Debruge).

When Willem Dafoe receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Jan. 8, the distinction will commemorate more than just a four-time Oscar nominee, but an actor so versatile that he has embodied everything from a conflicted messiah in “The Last Temptation of Christ” to the tortured father figure of “Antichrist.” Is there an actor working today with greater range?

With his deep-set eyes, sharp nose and broad smile, Dafoe has depicted his share of devils, from creepy “Nosferatu” star Max Schreck in “Shadow of the Vampire” to comic-book villain the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man 2.” But he also excels at the other end of the spectrum, as when he plays God in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things,” a Frankensteinian surgeon charitably committed to reanimating dead creatures, like Emma Stone’s Bella.

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