Willem Dafoe turns 65 today, and even I, a staunch Dafoe supporter, feel as if I don't give him enough credit. We take him for granted dammit! The man's been turning in legendary performances for four going on five decades, and they're not all whack-jobs either -- although I admit I favor the whack-jobs -- the last thing I saw him in just a few weeks ago was Abel Ferrera's Tommaso and he plays a totally normal dude in that, and rivetingly.
The sight of Willem Dafoe laughing and dancing is so blood-curdlingly terrifying to me pic.twitter.com/0mEckaOlam— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) June 9, 2020
Okay so the sight of him playing a normal dude does almost always carry with it a sense of frisson, as if he might go loco at any moment, but that's because he's just so electric on-screen. Even in something like The Florida Project -- we all immediately think of the scene where he chases off the pedophile, right? His eyes, even in their kindest moments, shoot sparks.
My 5 Favorite Willem Dafoe Performances
Thomas, The Lighthouse
"Look at ye, handsome lad with eyes bright as a lady."
Bobby Peru, Wild at Heart
"Speaking of Jack, One eyed Jack's yearning
to go a peeping in a seafood store!"
"Acorns don't cry, you know that as well as I do."
"If I was a woodcutter, I'd cut.
If I was a fire, I'd burn. But I'm a heart and I love.
That's the only thing I can do."
Max Schreck, Shadow of the Vampire
"I feed like an old man pees.
Sometimes all at once, sometimes drop by drop."