When Willem Dafoe recently received his third Oscar nomination (“The Florida Project”), it came once again in the Best Supporting Actor category, where he had been nominated twice before (“Platoon,” “Shadow of a Vampire”). However, his three-decade-plus career has been anything but expected, as evidenced by a new Funny or Die video in which Dafoe is quizzed on the contents of his IMDb page.
In the colorful, five-minute clip, Dafoe confesses that he was fired from his first job (“Heaven’s Gate”) for laughing; his four-film partnership with Lars von Trier began with an icy, naked swim; and playing Jesus (“The Last Temptation of Christ”) meant hearing Martin Scorsese yell cut because Dafoe’s penis required adjusting. The recent “Murder on the Orient Express” star approves of some of his fan-penned performance trademarks, such as “characters that often meet a grim fate,” and “prominent cheekbones.” He is also reminded that he has appeared in two features with talking foxes (Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox” and von Trier’s “Antichrist,” both released in 2009).
Like Anderson, Dafoe was at the Berlin International Film Festival this week, where he accepted its lifetime achievement award, the Honorary Golden Bear. There, during a press conference, he admitted that he has no little desire to extend his IMDB resume to include a recurring TV gig: “[Television] sits in the culture in a more popular way than film. But I still find many opportunities in film and I think film has a special power TV almost never has to create a mystery and poetry. I’m more narrative obsessed.”
Watch the “IMDb Me” short below.