Biography: Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe's first feature role was in Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Loveless.”

Willem Dafoe‘s first feature role was in Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Loveless.” He has subsequently performed in over 80 films. In Hollywood: “Spider-Man,” “The English Patient,” “Finding Nemo,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “White Sands,” “Mississippi Burning,” “Streets of Fire” and “American Dreamz.” Independent cinema in the United States: “The Clearing,” “Animal Factory,” “The Boondock Saints” and “American Psycho.” Abroad: Theo Angelopoulos’ “The Dust of Time,” Yim Ho’s “Pavillion of Women,” Yurek Bogayevicz’s “Edges of the Lord,” Wim Wenders’ “Faraway, So Close!Nobuhiro Suwa’s segment of “Paris je t’aime,” Brian Gilbert’s “Tom & Viv,” Christian Carion’s “Farewell,Steve Bendelack’s “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” and the Spierig brothers’ “Daybreakers.

He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with strong directors, including Wes Anderson (“The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox”), Martin Scorsese (“The Aviator,” “The Last Temptation of Christ”), Spike Lee (“Inside Man”), Julian Schnabel (“Miral,” “Basquiat”), Paul Schrader (“Auto Focus,” “Affliction,” “Light Sleeper,” “The Walker,” “Adam Resurrected”), David Cronenberg (“eXistenZ”), Abel Ferrara (“Go Go Tales,” “New Rose Hotel”), David Lynch (“Wild at Heart”), William Friedkin (“To Live and Die in L.A.”), Werner Herzog (“My Son My Son, What Have Ye Done”), Oliver Stone (“Born on the Fourth of July,” “Platoon”), Giada Colagrande (“A Woman,” “Before It Had a Name”) and Lars von Trier (“Antichrist,” “Manderlay”).

He was twice nominated for the Academy Award® (“Platoon” and “Shadow of the Vampire”) and once for the Golden Globe®. He was recently nominated for an AACTA Award (Australian Academy Cinema Television Arts) in the category of Best Lead Actor for his work in “The Hunter.” Among other nominations and awards, Dafoe received an Los Angeles Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award for “Shadow of the Vampire.”

His upcoming films include “The Hunter,” Abel Ferrara’s “4:44 The Last Day on Earth” and Stephen Sommers’ “Odd Thomas.”

Dafoe is one of the founding members of The Wooster Group, the New York-based experimental theater collective. He created and performed in all of the group’s work from 1977 through 2005, both in the United States and internationally. Since then, he worked with Richard Foreman in “Idiot Savant” at The Public Theatre (NYC) and most recently Robert Wilson’s “The Life & Death of Marina Abramovic” abroad.

Biography/Filmography courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures and the film, John Carter.

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