Willem Dafoe’s Commitment to Performance: Behind the Scenes of His Upcoming Collaboration with Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos

Willem Dafoe is known for going to great lengths to give some of the best acting performances the big screen has ever seen.[0] And this is exactly what he did in his upcoming collaboration with Emma Stone and director Yorgos Lanthimos for the anthology film And.

In an interview with The New York Times, Dafoe disclosed that he requested to be slapped multiple times for a scene where his character was being slapped by Stone, even though he was not in the frame.[1] Dafoe demanded that the scene would come across as more genuine if he were to be slapped in reality, and thus he endured the (staged) slap a total of 20 times.[0]

Stone commented on Dafoe, saying, “A lot of actors have this inner drive to perform and be seen by others, but he's the total opposite. Maybe it's been different over time. I have a connection to those who've been in the business for many years and who have shifted from an ‘I' mentality to a ‘We' mindset.”

The La La Land star expressed that Dafoe is unlike the other actors she has collaborated with in that he does not have “this instinct to perform that many actors have — the ‘look at me, look at me!' type of performer.”

Lanthimos spoke favorably of Dafoe's actions, remarking, “That's what you want from actors.”[2] To desire to be involved in any capacity.[0]

The film is set to release at some point this year, with Dafoe also set to appear in Focus Features' thriller ‘Inside', opening in theatres on March 17.[3]

0. “Willem Dafoe insisted Emma Stone slap him 20 times for their new movie” Entertainment Weekly News, 2 Mar. 2023, https://ew.com/movies/willem-dafoe-insisted-emma-stone-slap-him-new-movie-yorgos-lanthimos

1. “Emma Stone slaps Willem Dafoe 20 times off camera in new Yorgos Lanthimos film ‘And’” Far Out Magazine, 3 Mar. 2023, https://faroutmagazine.co.uk/emma-stone-slaps-willem-dafoe/

2. “Willem Dafoe made Emma Stone slap him 20 times on ‘And’ set” AOL, 3 Mar. 2023, https://www.aol.com/news/willem-dafoe-made-emma-stone-063222336.html

3. “Willem Dafoe Made Emma Stone Slap Him 20 Times While Filming, Even Though He Was Off Camera: ‘That’s What You Want From Actors’” Variety, 2 Mar. 2023, https://variety.com/2023/film/news/emma-stone-slapped-willem-dafoe-20-times-yorgos-lanthimos-and-1235541188/

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