Willem Dafoe talks about the one-man film “Inside” and explains why he makes such originals: “I’m not trying to sell anything”

Willem Dafoe a Inside. (Photo: © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Willem Dafoe is so popular among film buffs that it’s hard to imagine anyone will be offended by his new film Inside has only one central actor: Willem Dafoe.

The four-time Oscar nominee plays Nemo, an art thief trapped in a billionaire’s abandoned penthouse in New York City, struggling to survive as the days dwindle and food and water are minimal. And despite its one-man cast, the thriller, directed by Vasilis Katsoupis, is still tight through and through, thanks to Dafoe’s bold, characteristically engaging performance.

“It’s just a different way of working, and so much of what I do is action-based and physical, and those are both things I’m very comfortable with,” Dafoe, 67, told Yahoo Entertainment in a new issue interview. “A certain kind of dramaturgy, a certain kind of traditional scene work is thrown overboard. In this case, it’s liberating. You have to find another way of expressing things, and finding that way was part of our job.” (Watch the full interview below.)

What the film isn’t, at least to Dafoe’s knowledge, is an unexpected homage to Find Nemo. More than a few YouTubers, however, have pointed out the odd parallels between Katsoupi’s art-house thriller and Pixar’s 2003 animated favorite. Dafoe’s character’s name is Nemo. He’s essentially trapped in a glass box. There’s even a Dory-like Blue Hippo Tang fish (though you can imagine what happens to a starving art thief). Dafoe even addressed a fish, the Moorish idol Gil Find Nemo and its 2016 sequel Find Dory.

“Can I tell you something? I didn’t even know that character’s name was Nemo,” Dafoe admits there was something like a clownfish in there? [Or] identified all tropical fish in the tank of Find Nemo.”

INSIDE, Willem Dafoe, 2023. © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection

Willem Dafoe in a scene from Inside. (Photo: © Focus Features / Courtesy Everett Collection)

Inside continues a remarkable line of high-quality, deeply original films from Dafoe The Florida Project (2017) and Vox Lux (2018) to The lighthouse (2019), nightmare alley (2021) and The Northman (2022). What does he attribute his ability to keep finding such unique work to?

“I have an excellent agent and an excellent manager. I love them, but I also read a lot,” says Dafoe. “I check things. I try to think outside the box. I try to do what’s right for me and not necessarily take the industry standard or do what my peers are doing. That sounds a bit like myself, but no, I read a lot. I do. And I’m always looking for things that excite me. I love to work and the most important thing is… I always want to find a way to see myself or what I do in a new way. So when I see opportunities to do this, I generally jump at it. So I’m always looking for it.

“I have nothing to sell. I like being on a film set. I like the collaborative nature of it. I like the social aspect of it and it’s an adventure. Every day is different. But somewhere deep, I’m always looking for something to get it going and make me do something I’ve never done before. Because god knows we all need a kick in the pants.”

People online have long been getting a kick out of a viral GIF of Dafoe sitting in the back of a car with wild eyes and a maniacal smile as the camera gradually zooms in on him. And while it’s one of his most common images, it’s actually from one of his least-seen projects: a 2013 short that Dafoe dubbed The smile mandirected by Anton Lanshakov.

“This is a short film that I made as part of this competition that gave money to young filmmakers to produce these short films,” he says. “I’m aware of these things [online] because people tell me. I try not to look at them, but sometimes when people tell me I’m being tricked into looking at them.”

And yes, he gets a text from him Smile man gif

“Oh yes,” he laughs. “Usually it’s family or someone who’s excited about it and wants to share it.”

Inside opens in theaters on March 17th.

Watch the trailer:

Source : www.yahoo.com

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