Poor Things: Willem Dafoe is heartbroken he isn’t able to promote the film at the Venice Film Festival

Willem Dafoe is certainly an actor’s actor. And the Poor Things star regrets he isn’t able to participate in Venice for his three films.

willem dafoe, poor things

Yorgos Lanthimos’ new film Poor Things has just been given the Golden Lion prize at the 80th Venice Film Festival. The dark fairy tale comedy beat out some pretty stiff competition this year, which included Michael Mann’s Ferrari, David Fincher’s The Killer and Bradley Cooper’s Maestro. The reactions to the film have been glowing and they’ve been doing their best to prepare audiences for what’s to come. Additionally, many see this as an Oscar-winning performance for star Emma Stone, as she takes on the most ambitious role in her career.

Stone’s co-star, Willem Dafoe, has not only Poor Things, but also Pet Shop Days and Finally Dawn that played at the festival. With multiple films being featured at one of the most prestigious film events, it’s certainly a bummer to not be able to celebrate them. IndieWire reports that Dafoe spoke with Vanity Fair during this time. Dafoe expressed his feelings on having to be on the sidelines on this go around, “To be in Venice with three films and not be able to go broke my heart. But then I thought, ‘Is it just because you want to have a good time?’ I live in Italy and it’s exciting to see friends, it’s exciting to dress up. ‘Does the film fly or not in real time?’ That’s fun.”

Dafoe added, “It’s important for talent to get involved, particularly the independent films — it’s important. That’s why I’m so grateful to hear that we got an interim agreement [for Gonzo Girl at TIFF]. And the word on that of course is, if a little independent company can do it, why can’t a big studio? But I feel bad that I wasn’t able to go to Venice.”

The Green Goblin actor would also give his impression on actors who have been able to make the festival rounds, even with waivers, “I think we’ve got to keep it going. I get their strategy, but I also think sometimes particularly hardcore industry people, they don’t think about the world enough, the world market. If we don’t participate in these film festivals, if we don’t participate in the selling of movies abroad, before you know it, we’re all going to be watching German action movies. Since we’re here with the blessings of SAG, I don’t know why someone wouldn’t come if they had an interim agreement. I know a lot of people didn’t. I guess they’d feel like it’s not showing solidarity, but SAG endorses it and it’s encouraging. So no, I didn’t feel strange.”

Source: IndieWire, Vanity Fair

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.