Few actors are as committed as Willem Dafoe.
In a new profile of the “Inside” star in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, it’s revealed that for a recent film, he had co-star Emma Stone slap him 20 times.
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Not only that but Dafoe didn’t even need to be there to shoot the scene from the upcoming “AND”, in which Stone is meant to slap his character, who appears off-screen.
Despite not even scheduled to be on set that day Dafoe arrived and insisted Stone slap him for real, in order to make the action look more genuine.
“That’s what you want from actors,” said director Yorgos Lanthimos. “To want to be part of it in any way.”
“There’s this instinct to perform that many actors have — the ‘look at me, look at me!’ kind of performer,” Stone said. “He’s the opposite of that.”
She added, “Maybe it’s changed through the years. A lot of actors I bond with have been doing this for a long time, and you know they’ve gone from ‘I’ to ‘We.’”
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Talking about his experience of acting, Dafoe said, “You throw yourself into it. And you have a beautiful day full of adventure and impressions that you don’t always get — and then you feel turned on.”
He also compared the process of working with a good director on a film to falling in love with someone.
“You feel energized and like your best self — you’re so enamored of this person that you want to be the best person possible,” he said. “That’s the proposal: ‘We need you to do this thing, to go on this mission.’”