In 1979, WILLEM DAFOE was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate
from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn
Bigelow's The Loveless. He has gone on to perform in over 80 films - in
Hollywood (John Carter, Spider-Man, The English Patient, Finding Nemo, Once Upon
A Time In Mexico, Clear And Present Danger, White Sands, Mississippi Burning,
Streets Of Fire, American Dreamz) and in independent cinema both in the U.S.
(The Clearing, Animal Factory, The Boondock Saints, American Psycho) and
internationally (Theo Angelopoulos's The Dust Of Time, Yim Ho's Pavilion Of
Women, Yurek Bogayevicz's Edges Of The Lord, Wim Wenders' Faraway, So Close,
Nobuhiro Suwa's segment of Paris Je t'aime, Brian Gilbert's Tom & Viv, Christian
Carion's Farewell, Steve Bendelack's Mr. Bean's Holiday, the Spierig Brothers'
Daybreakers and Daniel Nettheim's The Hunter).
He has chosen projects for diversity of roles and opportunities to work with
strong directors. He has worked in the films of Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic,
The Fantastic Mr. Fox), Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, The Last Temptation Of
Christ), Spike Lee (Inside Man), Julian Schnabel (Miral, Basquiat), Paul
Schrader (Auto Focus, Affliction, Light Sleeper, The Walker, Adam Resurrected),
David Cronenberg (Existenz), Abel Ferrara (444: The Last Day On Earth, Go Go
Tales, New Rose Hotel), David Lynch (Wild At Heart), William Friedkin (To Live
And Die In LA), Werner Herzog (My Son My Son What Have Ye Done), Oliver Stone
(Born On The Fourth Of July, Platoon), Giada Colagrande (A Woman and Before It
Had A Name) and Lars von Trier (Antichrist and Manderlay).
He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award (Platoon and Shadow of the
Vampire) and once for a Golden Globe. Among other nominations and awards, he
received an LA Film Critics Award and an Independent Spirit Award.
Upcoming films include Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace, Wes Anderson's The
Grand Budapest Hotel, Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Josh Boone's The Fault In
Our Stars, David Leitch and Chad Stahelski's John Wick, and Chris Brinker's Bad
Dafoe is one of the founding members of The Wooster Group, the New York based
experimental theatre collective. He created and performed in all of the group's
work from 1977 thru 2005, both in the U.S. and internationally. Since then, he
worked with Richard Foreman in Idiot Savant at The Public Theatre (NYC) and most
recently the international productions of Robert Wilson's The Life & Death of
Marina Abramovic and Robert Wilson's The Old Woman.