Willem Dafoe has been a major Hollywood star since the late 1980s, thanks to attention-grabbing early roles in such films as “Platoon”, “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Mississippi Burning”.
Despite maintaining that stardom, it’s only this coming weekend that he’ll be making his hosting debut on “Saturday Night Live”, begging the question: what took so long?
Speaking with the “Variety Awards Circuit” podcast, Dafoe offered an explanation why he’s only now getting around to “SNL”.
“I think there was never the right combination of things,” he said.
“Because it’s nice to pair it to a movie or something. And yes, I’ve had some successful movies in my career but they aren’t always the ones that you can hang a ‘Saturday Night Live’ appearance on,” he added, joking about what an “Antichrist” sketch might look like.
However, Dafoe appears to have finally entered that sweet spot, considering he’s appeared in five films over the past year, including “The Card Counter”, “The French Dispatch”, “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” and Guillermo Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley”, to say nothing of reprising the Green Goblin in “Spider-Man No Way Home”.
Returning to the super-villain role he last played in 2002, Dafoe admitted he was as surprised as anyone when he was approached about reviving the character.
“It’s always a little difficult when you die in a movie to come back in any sequels,” he said. “I thought I was finished. When they initially said, ‘Would you like to reprise this role?’ I thought, ‘Really? How does that happen?’ I was kind of stupid about it.”
However, after it was all explained to him, he agreed to sign on, and he’s glad that he did.
“I can say, and maybe drank the Kool-Aid, but these are people that really are believing in what they’re doing and giving themselves to it in a very full way,” he said. “I’m not just talking about really good actors. I’m talking about the effects people, the camera department — they’re all very top level. And then when you have the resources and possibility of making a popular film, that’s all pretty attractive.”