Interview: Willem Dafoe talks 4:44 Last Day on Earth!
Does Willem Dafoe need an introduction? My job dictates that I provide one, and yet it seems to me that there are so few actors whose faces conjure up such definitive memories for the audience. In Dafoe's case, one person will see the saintly sergeant from PLATOON, while another will fearfully recall the gruesome hood he portrayed in WILD AT HEART. One age-group surely recognizes him as the conflicted villain in SPIDER-MAN, while another can't help but picture Jesus Christ himself from Scorsese's THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST. In a very oddly real way, Willem Dafoe is an actor beloved by multiple generations, and that's not simply not common in this day and age.
In his latest picture, 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH, Dafoe works with his longtime friend Abel Ferrara, with whom he's worked twice in the past, to tell a story that's deeply personal for both of them. Dafoe was kind enough to sit with me and discuss the film a little bit; in addition, he gave me a rather intriguing answer when I asked him the question actors dread most: “What film was the most memorable experience for you?”
“His sets are always kind of chaotic, and beautifully hellish.”