Dafoe at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival
William James Dafoe
July 22, 1955
Appleton, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Partner(s)||Elizabeth LeCompte (1977–2004)|
|Relatives||Donald Dafoe (brother)|
William James "Willem" Dafoe (born July 22, 1955) is an American actor. He is known for his distinct gravelly voice, and has received multiple accolades, including nominations for four Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. He has frequently collaborated with filmmakers Paul Schrader, Abel Ferrara, Lars von Trier, Julian Schnabel, and Wes Anderson.
Dafoe was an early member of experimental theater company The Wooster Group, where he acted in several productions. He made his film debut in Heaven's Gate (1980), but was fired during production. He had his first leading role in the outlaw biker film The Loveless (1982) and then played the main antagonist in Streets of Fire (1984) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985). He received his first Academy Award nomination for his role as Sergeant Elias Grodin in Oliver Stone's war film Platoon (1986). In 1988, Dafoe played Jesus in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ and starred in Mississippi Burning, both of which were controversial. Following small roles in Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Wild at Heart (1990), he began a six-film collaboration with director Paul Schrader with the drama Light Sleeper (1992). He starred in the critically panned erotic thriller Body of Evidence (1993) and then co-starred in Clear and Present Danger (1994), The English Patient (1996), Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), and The Boondock Saints (1999).
After receiving his second Academy Award nomination for portraying Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire (2000), Dafoe played Norman Osborn in the superhero film Spider-Man (2002), the villains in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and XXX: State of the Union (2005), and Carson Clay in the film Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007). In 2009, he starred in the experimental film Antichrist, one of his three films with Lars von Trier. Dafoe then appeared in The Fault in Our Stars, John Wick, The Grand Budapest Hotel (all 2014), The Great Wall (2016), Murder on the Orient Express (2017), The Florida Project (2017), for which he received his third Academy Award nomination, Aquaman (2018) and The Lighthouse (2019). He has also had voice-over roles in Finding Nemo (2003), its sequel Finding Dory (2016), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), voice and motion capture roles in John Carter (2012) and Death Note (2017), and vocal contributions to the video games Spider-Man (2002), Finding Nemo (2003), James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (2004), and Beyond: Two Souls (2013).
Dafoe has portrayed several real-life figures, including T.S. Eliot in Tom & Viv (1994), Pier Paolo Pasolini in Pasolini (2014), Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity's Gate (2018), for which he received an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination, his first in that category, and Leonhard Seppala in Togo (2019). Dafoe has dual citizenship of the United States and Italy.
1955–1978: Early life and acting in theater
William James Dafoe was born in Appleton, Wisconsin. One of eight children of Muriel Isabel (née Sprissler) and Dr. William Alfred Dafoe (1917–2014), he recalled in 2009: "My five sisters raised me because my father was a surgeon, my mother was a nurse and they worked together, so I didn't see either of them much." His brother, Donald Dafoe, is a transplant surgeon and researcher. He has English, French, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. His surname is of French origin. In high school, he acquired the nickname Willem, which is the Dutch version of the name William. During an interview he explained that about half of the Dafoe family puts the emphasis on the first syllable of their surname, and the other half on the second. Only after becoming an actor, he took the second interpretation as his stage name.
Dafoe studied drama at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, but left after a year and a half to join the experimental theater company Theatre X in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before moving to New York in 1976. There he apprenticed under Richard Schechner, director of the avant-garde theater troupe The Performance Group, where he met and became romantically involved with Elizabeth LeCompte. She, with her former romantic partner Spalding Gray and others, edged out Schechner and created the Wooster Group. Within a year Dafoe was part of the company. Dafoe would continue with the Wooster Group into the 2000s.
1986–1989: Breakthrough, first Oscar nomination, and controversial roles
Dafoe began his film career in 1979, when he was cast in a supporting role in Michael Cimino's epic Western film Heaven's Gate. Dafoe was only present for the first three months of an eight-month shoot. His role, that of a cockfighter who works for Jeff Bridges' character, was removed from a majority of the film during editing but was visible during a cockfight scene. Dafoe did not receive a credit for his work on the film. In 1982, Dafoe starred as the leader of an outlaw motorcycle club in the drama The Loveless, his first role as a leading man. The film was co-directed by Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery and paid homage to 1953 film The Wild One, starring Marlon Brando in a similar role.
Following a brief appearance in the horror film The Hunger (1983), Dafoe again played the leader of a biker gang in Walter Hill's 1984 action film Streets of Fire. His character in the film served as the main antagonist, who captures the ex-girlfriend of a mercenary, played by Diane Lane and Michael Paré, respectively. Janet Maslin of The New York Times felt there were no great performances in the film, but praised Dafoe's "perfectly villainous" face. Dafoe starred alongside Judge Reinhold in Roadhouse 66 (1985) as a pair of yuppies who become stranded in a town on U.S. Route 66. Later in 1985, Dafoe starred with William Petersen and John Pankow in William Friedkin's thriller To Live and Die in L.A., in which Dafoe portrays a counterfeiter named Rick Masters who is being tracked by two Secret Service agents. Film critic Roger Ebert commended his "strong" performance in the film.
Dafoe's sole film release of 1986 was Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon, gaining him his widest exposure up to that point for playing the compassionate Sergeant Elias Grodin. He enjoyed the opportunity to play a heroic role and said the film gave him a chance to display his versatility, saying "I think all characters live in you. You just frame them, give them circumstances, and that character will happen." Principal photography for the film took place in the Philippines and required Dafoe to undergo boot camp training. Los Angeles Times writer Sheila Benson praised his performance and found it to be "particularly fine" to see Dafoe play "something other than a psychopath". At the 59th Academy Awards, Dafoe was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, but the statuette was awarded to Michael Caine at the ceremony. Dafoe provided his voice to the documentary Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (1987) and, in 1988, Dafoe starred in another film set during the Vietnam War, this time as Criminal Investigation Command Agent Buck McGriff in the action thriller Off Limits. His second release of 1988 was Martin Scorsese's epic drama The Last Temptation of Christ, in which Dafoe portrayed Jesus. The film was adapted from the novel of the same name and depicts his struggle with various forms of temptation throughout his life. Like the novel, the film attracted controversy for departing from the biblical portrayal of Jesus and was branded as being blasphemous. Dafoe's performance in the film was widely praised, however, with Janet Maslin opining that Dafoe brought a "gleaming intensity" to the role.
In his final release of 1988, Dafoe starred opposite Gene Hackman in the crime thriller Mississippi Burning as a pair of FBI agents investigating the disappearance of three civil rights workers in fictional Jessup County, Mississippi during the civil rights movement. Variety magazine praised Dafoe's performance, writing, "Dafoe gives a disciplined and noteworthy portrayal of Ward", although they felt it was Hackman "who steals the picture". As with The Last Temptation of Christ, the film became embroiled in controversy, this time by African-American activists who criticized its fictionalization of events. Dafoe was briefly considered for the role of the super-villain the Joker in the Tim Burton-directed superhero film Batman (1989), as screenwriter Sam Hamm noticed physical similarities, but was never offered the part that eventually went to Jack Nicholson. Dafoe starred in the drama Triumph of the Spirit in 1989 as Jewish Greek boxer Salamo Arouch, an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate who was forced to fight other internees to death for the Nazi officers' entertainment. It was filmed on location at Auschwitz, the first major film to do so. While the film was negatively received, Dafoe's performance was lauded by some critics; Peter Travers of Rolling Stone felt he gave a "disciplined performance" and Janet Maslin thought he was "harrowingly good". Dafoe reunited with Platoon director Oliver Stone for a small appearance in the biographical war drama Born on the Fourth of July (1989). Dafoe played a paraplegic, wheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran who befriends the film's subject Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise), another paraplegic veteran.
1990–1999: Balancing independent and blockbuster films
Dafoe made a cameo appearance in John Waters' musical comedy Cry-Baby (1990) as a prison guard who gives a brief lecture on values to the title character, who is played by Johnny Depp. Rita Kempley of The Washington Post found the scene to be one of the film's highlights. In the same year, Dafoe co-starred in David Lynch's crime film Wild at Heart with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Dafoe played a criminal who engages in a robbery with Cage's character before demonstrating his dark side. He wore fake, corroded teeth and grew a pencil moustache that bore resemblance to his previous collaborator, John Waters. Entertainment Weekly critic Owen Gleiberman felt the role proved Dafoe as a "master of leering, fish-faced villainy". In 1991, Dafoe starred with Danny Glover and Brad Johnson in the action film Flight of the Intruder. The film follows a pair of United States Navy pilots, played by Dafoe and Johnson, who scheme and participate in an unauthorized air strike on Hanoi. Directed by John Millius, the film received negative reviews. He was due to star opposite Joan Cusack in the comedy Arrive Alive in 1991, but the film was cancelled during production. Dafoe had two lead roles in 1992. The first to be released, White Sands, saw Dafoe a play small-town sheriff who impersonates a dead man after finding his dead body and a suitcase containing $500,000 in order to solve the case, resulting in an FBI investigation. In his next starring role, Paul Schrader's drama Light Sleeper, Dafoe played John LeTour, a lonely, insomniac, New Yorker working as a delivery man for a drug supplier, who is played by Susan Sarandon. Roger Ebert praised Dafoe's "gifted" portrayal of LeTour and Owen Gleiberman opined that "even when the film doesn't gel, one is held by Willem Dafoe's grimly compelling performance."
Dafoe next starred in the erotic thriller Body of Evidence (1993) with Madonna. The story concerns a lawyer, played by Dafoe, who engages in a sadomasochistic sexual relationship with the woman he is representing in a murder case. The film was panned by critics and performed poorly at the box office, with some audience members laughing during the sex scenes. In his review of the film, Vincent Canby felt that Dafoe lacked sensuality in the role. Later in 1993, Dafoe appeared in a supporting role as Emit Flesti (an anagram of Time Itself) in the German fantasy film Faraway, So Close!, directed by Wim Wenders. Dafoe then co-starred in the spy thriller Clear and Present Danger (1994), an adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel of the name starring Harrison Ford as CIA operative Jack Ryan. Dafoe played John Clark, a CIA agent conducting a covert operation against a drug cartel in Colombia with Jack Ryan. Dafoe portrayed the poet T. S. Eliot in the drama Tom & Viv (also in 1994), which tells the story of Eliot and his first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot, who was played by Miranda Richardson. The film was met with a mixed reception from critics, although Caryn James of The New York Times felt that Dafoe's "stunningly sharp, sympathetic portrait raises the film above a script that is full of serious holes and stilted dialogue". In 1995, he played an 18th-century writer in the period drama The Night and the Moment.
In his first of three film appearances in 1996, Dafoe made a cameo appearance as an electrician in the biographical drama Basquiat. Next, he played a Canadian Intelligence Corps operative in the romantic war drama The English Patient, which starred Ralph Fiennes as desert explorer Count László Almásy. The English Patient was filmed in Tuscany, where Dafoe said he particularly enjoyed the "quiet moments in the monastery between shoots". In the period drama Victory—which was filmed in 1994 and premiered in Europe in 1996, but was released until 1998—Dafoe played a European Axel living on an island in the Southeast Asia who becomes the target of redemption after preventing a woman, played Irène Jacob, from being raped. In 1997, Dafoe returned to playing a villainous role in the action thriller Speed 2: Cruise Control, expressing the necessity of appearing in both independent and blockbuster films. The film starred Sandra Bullock and Jason Patric as a couple vacationing on a luxury cruise that has been hijacked by Dafoe's character, Geiger, a hacker that has programmed the ship to crash into an oil tanker. Speed 2 was met with overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics, with Dafoe himself receiving a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actor. For his next film, Affliction (1997), Dafoe worked with Paul Schrader for second time, playing the brother of Nick Nolte's character and served as the film's narrator. Also in 1997, Dafoe took on a voice acting role in an episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons titled "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson", voicing the commandant of a military academy that Bart and Lisa Simpson are attending. Following a villainous supporting role in the romantic mystery drama Lulu on the Bridge, Dafoe starred alongside Christopher Walken and Asia Argento in Abel Ferrara's cyberpunk drama New Rose Hotel in 1998. It follows X (Dafoe) and Fox (Walken), a pair of corporate raiders attempting to lure a Japanese scientist from one megacorporation to another. Although the film was largely dismissed by critics, critic David Stratton found there to be "compensation" in the performances.
In 1999, Dafoe gave a supporting performance in David Cronenberg's Existenz, a science fiction thriller in which he played a gas station owner named Gas. Later in the year, Dafoe starred in the action film The Boondock Saints. He played an eccentric, gay FBI agent assigned with investigating a series of murders committed by the MacManus brothers (played by Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus), twins who are acting as vigilantes in Boston, Massachusetts after an act of self-defense. The Boondock Saints was negatively received by film critics, largely for its extreme violence and lack of emotional depth, though some critics praised Dafoe's role in the film. The film performed poorly at the box office, but has since been branded as being a cult film.
2000–2009: Shadow of the Vampire, Spider-Man and prolificity
In his first film of the 2000s, Dafoe was featured in a supporting role in American Psycho (2000) as a private investigator investigating the disappearance of a co-worker of Patrick Bateman (played by Christian Bale), an investment banker who leads a double life as a serial killer. His next film of 2000, Steve Buscemi's crime drama Animal Factory, starred as Dafoe an incarcerated veteran con-man who takes a young inmate (played by Edward Furlong) under his wing and introduces to him to his gang. The film was positively received by critics and Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times wrote that "Dafoe steals the picture with his comic timing". Shadow of the Vampire, his final film of the year, saw him portray a fictionalized version of the German actor Max Schreck during the production of the 1922 horror film Nosferatu, in which Schreck starred as the vampire Count Orlok. Dafoe's co-star John Malkovich portrayed the film's director, F. W. Murnau. The film delves into fiction when, over the course of Nosferatu's production, the cast and crew come to discover that Schreck is actually a vampire himself. Much of the film's critical praise went to Dafoe; Roger Ebert wrote that Dafoe "embodies the Schreck of Nosferatu so uncannily that when real scenes from the silent classic are slipped into the frame, we don't notice a difference". The Chicago Reader critic Jonathan Rosenbaum opined felt the film's "only redeeming quality" was Dafoe's "enjoyably over-the-top, eye-rolling performance". Dafoe received numerous awards and nominations for his performance, including his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination.
Dafoe took on two leading roles in 2001, both of which were as priests. In the drama Pavilion of Women, he played an American priest living in China who falls in love with a local married woman (played by the film's screenwriter Luo Yan) while giving her son a Western education. He then starred opposite Haley Joel Osment in Edges of the Lord, playing a compassionate priest helping a young Jewish boy pose as a Catholic to protect him during Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland. Dafoe played the supervillain the Green Goblin in Sam Raimi's 2002 superhero film Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire as the titular Marvel Comics superhero. Dafoe played the Norman Osborn incarnation of the Green Goblin, the billionaire founder and owner of the corporation Oscorp, becoming the Green Goblin after testing an unstable strength enhancer on himself, turning him insane and making him extremely powerful. Osborn is a family friend of Spider-Man's secret identity Peter Parker as Osborn's son, Harry Osborn (played by James Franco), is a close friend of Parker. The role required Dafoe to wear an uncomfortable costume and mask that made it impossible to emote using his face, confining Dafoe to convey emotion through his voice and head movements. Dafoe's role in the film was generally well-received, including a New York Daily News reviewer who felt he put "the scare in archvillain" and Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who deemed him "strong support". Conversely, critic A. O. Scott wrote that his performance was "uninspired and secondhand".
Later in 2002, Dafoe starred with Greg Kinnear in Paul Schrader's biographical film Auto Focus, Dafoe's third collaboration with Schrader. Dafoe portrayed John Henry Carpenter, an electronics expert who develops a strange friendship with the actor Bob Crane, leading Crane into a downward spiral. Dafoe provided his voice to the computer-animated Pixar film Finding Nemo in 2003. Dafoe voiced Gill, a moorish idol fish who helps Nemo, a clownfish, in his struggle to find his parents. In the same year, Dafoe appeared in a small but pivotal role as a drug cartel kingpin planning a coup d'état against the President of Mexico in Robert Rodriguez's action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico. The murder mystery The Reckoning was Dafoe's final film of 2003, in which he starred with Paul Bettany. The film takes place during the Middle Ages and saw Dafoe play the leader of acting troupe that recreate the events surrounding a woman accused of witchcraft and murder, who they believe is innocent. Dafoe lent his voice and likeness to the James Bond video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (2004) as the villain Nikolai Diavolo.
The following year, Dafoe took on another villainous role in The Clearing, albeit with a more sympathetic approach. Dafoe co-starred as a man who kidnaps his former boss (played by Robert Redford) in exchange for a ransom. The film received mixed reviews, although Peter Travers felt that he added a note of "vulnerability to the menace he has made his stock in trade". Dafoe reprised his role as Norman Osborn in Spider-Man 2 (2004), appearing to his son Harry in an hallucination. The cameo was suggested by Dafoe, comparing it to the ghost of Hamlet's father visiting his son to ask him to avenge his death. Dafoe was next seen in the comedy-drama The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), his first of three films with director Wes Anderson. He played the "hilariously doltish" German first mate of a research vessel owned by the eponymous lead character, who is played by Bill Murray. Dafoe then had a small role as a tabloid magazine editor in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator (2004), a biographical film about Howard Hughes starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Also in 2004, Dafoe narrated the documentary Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate, chronicling the production of Heaven's Gate and co-starred as a neuropharmacologist in the direct-to-video thriller Control (2004) alongside Ray Liotta and Michelle Rodriguez. Dafoe co-starred in XXX: State of the Union (2005), an action film sequel starring Ice Cube in which Dafoe played a US Secretary of Defense attempting a coup d'état against the President of the United States. It was largely panned by critics, although Dafoe stated he did not regret appearing the film.
With the avant-garde drama Manderlay in 2005, Dafoe began another actor-director collaboration, this time with Danish filmmaker Lars von Trier. Dafoe co-starred in the film as the father of Bryce Dallas Howard's character, a woman who discovers a plantation still thriving as if slavery had never been abolished. Along with his wife Giada Colagrande, Dafoe co-wrote and starred in Before It Had a Name (2005), which Colagrande directed. Dafoe played the caretaker of a house that is inherited by the lover of its deceased owner, engaging in a sexual relationship with her. The film was excoriated by a Variety reviewer as a "wannabe haunted house tale laced with silly sex scenes" and an "embarrassment". His fourth and final film appearance of 2005 was the crime thriller Ripley Under Ground, in which he played a museum curator. Dafoe had a supporting role in Spike Lee's 2006 crime thriller Inside Man, playing a veteran captain of the NYPD Emergency Services Unit helping with a hostage negotiation during a bank heist on Wall Street. Dafoe co-starred as the White House Chief of Staff in American Dreamz, a comedy satirizing both popular entertainment and American politics. His character was described as a "diminutive version of Dick Cheney, with wire-rimmed glasses and a fringe of white hair" by The Times writer Caryn James. He starred with Juliette Binoche in a short film directed by Nobuhiro Suwa as part of the 2006 anthology film Paris, je t'aime.
In 2007, Dafoe played a pretentious film director in the British comedy film Mr. Bean's Holiday, starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean. The Hollywood Reporter thought that Dafoe appeared to think he was "in a pantomime", while a New York Times reviewer felt he was "amusing" in the role. Dafoe starred as the owner of a strip club in Abel Ferrara's Go Go Tales (2007); Manohla Dargis praised his "twitchy, sympathetic performance" in the film. In the same year, Dafoe voiced the main villain, an evil wizard, in the English dub of the Japanese animated fantasy film Tales from Earthsea, had a supporting role as a US Senator in the drama The Walker, his fourth collaboration with Paul Schrader, and took on the lead role in the psychological thriller Anamorph, in which Dafoe played a detective who notices the case he is investigating bears similarities to a previous case of his. Dafoe starred with Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts, and Emily Watson in the drama Fireflies in the Garden, which premiered at Berlinale in 2008 but was not released theatrically until 2011. Dafoe played a cold, domineering English professor who has a strained relationship with his family. The film received mostly negative reviews, although the performances were generally praised. Roger Ebert thought that Dafoe was "fearsome" in the role, while Manohla Dargis felt he and Roberts were "awkwardly matched" as a married couple. Dafoe co-starred as SS Nazi officer in Paul Schrader's Adam Resurrected (2008), which starred Jeff Goldblum as a concentration camp internee. In his final release of 2008, Dafoe starred in the Greek drama The Dust of Time as an American film director of Greek descent making a film his mother's (played by Irène Jacob) life. The critic Peter Brunette felt the cast's performances, especially Dafoe's, were unconvincing.
Dafoe appeared in seven films in 2009, the first of which was in Lars von Trier's experimental film Antichrist. Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg played a couple whose relationship becomes increasingly sexually violent and sadomasochistic after retreating to a cabin in the woods following the death of their child. The film received a polarized response from critics and audiences, receiving both applause and boos at the Cannes Film Festival and was called the "most shocking movie" to be shown at the festival because of its graphic sex scenes. Roger Ebert commended Dafoe's and Gainsbourg's performances as being "heroic and fearless". During an interview with L Magazine, it was revealed Dafoe had a stand in for scenes where his character's penis was on screen as his own was too big. Dafoe next had a small role in the French thriller Farewell as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and co-starred opposite Michael Shannon in Werner Herzog's My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, in which he played a detective attempting to figure out why a troubled man killed his own mother. Dafoe played a former vampire who has a cure that can save the human species in the science fiction horror film Daybreakers, which starred Ethan Hawke as a vampire hematologist. Richard Corliss of Time magazine wrote that Dafoe "triumphs over some awful dialogue by giving the role his nutsy-greatsy weirdness". Dafoe had a voice role in Wes Anderson's stop-motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox starring George Clooney as the titular Roald Dahl character. Fresh Air critic David Edelstein felt Dafoe was one the film's highlights as a "hep-cat, knife-wielding rat security guard". Dafoe reprised his role from The Boondock Saints in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, making a brief cameo appearance. His final appearance of the year was in Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, another film centring around vampires in which Dafoe played the foppish vampire Gavner Purl. Between October and December 2009, Dafoe appeared in Richard Foreman's surrealist play Idiot Savant at The Public Theater.
2010–present: Continued acclaim and success
Dafoe appeared in two films that premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 2010, making a brief appearance in Julian Schnabel's political thriller Miral, which some reviewers found to be distracting. and starred in his wife Giada Colagrande's film A Woman. Also in 2010, Dafoe began voicing Clarence, the Birds Eye polar bear mascot in the company's television commercials in the United Kingdom, and narrated Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World, a Ric Burns documentary about the history of the whaling industry in the United States. Dafoe's first of two leading roles in 2011 was in Abel Ferrara's apocalyptic drama 4:44 Last Day on Earth, his third film with Ferrara. He played an actor spending his last hours on Earth before the end of the world with his much-younger lover (played by Shanyn Leigh). The film garnered a poor reaction critics, with a reviewer for Paste stating "there's only so much depth [Dafoe] can bring to such a shallow character". Dafoe then starred in the Australian drama The Hunter, playing a professional hunter who travels to Tasmania to hunt down the world's only remaining thylacine. Critic Stephen Holden wrote in his review of the film, "Even in the "toughest, most macho roles... [Dafoe] retains a tinge of Christ-like sweetness and vulnerability". In 2011, Dafoe began narrating a series of television commercials for the Greek yogurt company Fage and starred in a Jim Beam commercial titled "Bold Choices". Dafoe starred alongside Marina Abramović and Gretchen Mol in the play The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, which premiered at The Lowry in 2011. Dafoe played Martian chieftain Tars Tarkas in the Disney film John Carter (2012), using to motion capture to portray the multi-limbed character. The film was a box office failure and ranks among the biggest box-office bombs of all time. Later in 2012, Dafoe co-starred in the low-budget crime thriller Tomorrow You're Gone with Stephen Dorff and Michelle Monaghan.
In 2013, Dafoe played a police officer in the supernatural thriller Odd Thomas, starring Anton Yelchin as the titular character that possesses supernatural powers to see the dead. Using motion-capture acting technology, Dafoe co-starred alongside Ellen Page in David Cage's video game Beyond: Two Souls (2013) as a paranormal activity researcher who acts as the surrogate-father-figure to a girl who possesses supernatural powers. The game polarized reviewers, although Dafoe and Page's performance were widely praised. In Scott Cooper's Out of the Furnace (2013), starring Christian Bale, Dafoe played the supporting role of a bookmaker running an illegal gambling operation. Dafoe next appeared in Lars von Trier's two-part erotic art film Nymphomaniac, his third and final film release of 2013. In the film, Dafoe played a perverse businessman who hires Charlotte Gainsbourg's character to work as a debt collector using sex and sadomasochism. Also in 2013, Dafoe played the devil in a Mercedes-Benz Super Bowl commercial and starred in three short student films as part of a competition sponsored by Jameson Irish Whiskey. In 2014, Dafoe portrayed a wealthy private banker with connections to the Russia mafia opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman in Anton Corbijn's espionage thriller A Most Wanted Man. Dafoe worked with Wes Anderson for a third time with the comedy The Grand Budapest Hotel (also 2014), featuring as the henchman of Adrien Brody's character alongside an ensemble cast led by Ralph Fiennes. Dafoe next starred alongside Matt Dillon as a detective in the crime thriller Bad Country, which critic Justin Chang dismissed as being "blandly constructed".
In May 2014, Dafoe served as member of the main competition jury at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. He was next featured in a supporting role as a mean-spirited, alcoholic author who is visited by a pair of cancer patients, who are played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, in the romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars. Dafoe once again collaborated with Ferrara on the drama Pasolini, in which he played Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini during his last days before his murder in 1975. Film critic Peter Bradshaw noted the physical similarities between Dafoe and Pasolini, although felt Dafoe had too little screen time in the film. His final film of 2014 was the action thriller John Wick starring Keanu Reeves, in which Dafoe appeared as the mentor to the titular character, a former hitman who is forced out of retirement to seek vengeance for the killing of his puppy. Dafoe stated he found the use of gun fu combat created an interesting mix of action, stating "you have the grace of martial arts, but then the bang of the gun". His performance in the film was generally well received by critics, including Peter Travers who felt he provided "ample compensation". Dafoe made his second guest appearance in the animated sitcom The Simpsons in November 2014, voicing a new school teacher who bullies Bart Simpson profusely. Dafoe starred in the late Brazilian director's Héctor Babenco's final film My Hindu Friend (2015) as a film director close to death who befriends a Hindu 8-year-old boy while hospitalized.
The black comedy Dog Eat Dog (2016), Dafoe's sixth film with Paul Schrader, starred Dafoe and Nicolas Cage as a pair of ex-convicts hired to kidnap a baby. In the same year, Dafoe reprised his voice role as Gill, a Moorish idol fish, from Finding Nemo in its sequel Finding Dory. He next played the boss of Gerard Butler's character in the drama A Family Man and starred in Loris Gréaud's arthouse science fiction film Sculpt, which was only screened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for one person at a time. His final film of the year was the monster film The Great Wall, a Chinese-American co-production directed by Zhang Yimou starring Matt Damon as a European mercenary in China defending the Great Wall of China from a horde of monsters, in which Dafoe played a former adventurer working as a teacher in China. Also in 2016, Dafoe appeared in another Super Bowl commercial, this time for Snickers, recreating Marilyn Monroe's iconic white dress scene from the film The Seven Year Itch.
In 2017, Dafoe co-starred in Sean Baker's drama The Florida Project as the manager of a motel in Kissimmee, Florida who houses a toxic mother and her six-year-old daughter. The film and his performance received enormous critical acclaim, with The Washington Post critic Ann Hornaday writing that "Dafoe delivers his finest performance in recent memory, bringing to levelheaded, unsanctimonious life a character who offers a glimmer of hope and caring within a world markedly short on both". Dafoe earned his third Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination, as well as nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and BAFTA Awards. In 2017, Dafoe also played and voiced the character of Ryuk, a demonic death god from Japanese mythology, in Netflix's Death Note, and adaptation of the Japanese supernatural-thriller manga of the same name. He then narrated Australian documentarian Jennifer Peedom's documentary Mountain. Also that year, he co-starred as Gerhard Hardman in a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel Murder on the Orient Express, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh; and played Atlantean scientist Nuidis Vulko in a deleted role in Zack Snyder's Justice League. He later played Nuidis Vulko in a leading role in James Wan's 2018 film Aquaman. The same year, Dafoe played Vincent van Gogh in the film At Eternity's Gate, for which he received the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and an Academy Award for Best Actor nomination among other awards and accolades. His performance drew raves from film critics. Peter Keough of Boston Globe said Dafoe "may be the best actor around for expressing an inner life in extremis."
In 2019, he had a supporting role in Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn where he played powerful developer Moses Randolph's "beaten and broken" brother. In the same year, he played a lighthouse keeper on a storm-swept island in Robert Eggers' psychological horror The Lighthouse opposite Robert Pattinson. It had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where the film and Dafoe's performance received high praise. Owen Gleiberman of Variety said "Both actors are sensational (and they work together like one), but in terms of sheer showboating power it’s Dafoe’s movie."
In 1977, Dafoe began a relationship with director Elizabeth LeCompte. Their son, Jack, was born in 1982. They separated in 2004 and were never married because "to her, marriage represented ownership".
Dafoe married Italian actress, director, and screenwriter Giada Colagrande on March 25, 2005, a year after the two had met in Rome at the premiere of one of her films. Dafoe said in 2010, "We were having lunch and I said: 'Do you want to get married tomorrow?'" They did so the following afternoon at a small ceremony with two friends as witnesses. The couple worked together on her films Before It Had a Name and A Woman. They divide their time between Rome, New York City, and Los Angeles. He now holds both Italian and American citizenship.
- 2002: Won, Special Award (For immense contribution to the art of film.)
- 2005: Won, Donostia Award
- 2012: Won, Stockholm Achievement Award
- 2016: Won, Crystal Globe for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema
- 2018: Awarded, Honorary Golden Bear of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, recognizing his life's work
- 2018: Won, Volpi Cup for Best Actor
- "William James Dafoe". Ancestry.
- Marx, Rebecca Flint. "Willem Dafoe". All Movie Guide via The New York Times.
- "Willem Dafoe". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Riley, Sarah (June 30, 2014). "Willem Dafoe knocks Appleton — again". Post Crescent. Appleton WI. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
- "William Dafoe's Obituary on Appleton Post-Crescent". Appleton Post-Crescent.
- Isaac, Sara (August 12, 1988). "Actor Dafoe's Orlando Parents Support 'Last Temptation' Role". Orlando Sentinel. Florida. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012.
- Dafoe, Willem (November 21, 2009). "What I Know about Women". The Observer. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009.
- "Pancreas Transplant Director Donald Dafoe Joins Cedars-Sinai". Cedars-Sinai Medical Center press release via Newswise.com. May 13, 2005. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Witcher, Rosamund (November 22, 2009). "What I know about women". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
- Finally, The Truth Behind Willem Dafoe's First Name, interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (LSSC YouTube channel, published Jan 25, 2018)
"[I'm from a] big family. [My] father's called William. Love the guy, but I don't want to be Billy. I don't want to be William Junior. You know, you want your own identity. And when I was a kid, I was always seeking the nickname. And then I finally found one, where a friend of mine just started calling me "Willem". Like a lazy way of saying William. I didn't even know how to spell it. And the irony was by the time I became an actor, to go back to my birth name felt like a stage name. So the truth is I just stuck with the name that I felt like."
- Bromberg, Craig. "Wild at Heart". New York: 39.
- Willem Dafoe Pronounced His Name Wrong - CONAN on TBS, retrieved January 7, 2020
- Bromberg, p. 40
- "Mr Bean's Holiday – Willem Dafoe interview". IndieLondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Spalding Gray's Tortured Soul". The New York Times Magazine: p. 5 of online version. October 6, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (March 3, 2012). "Willem Dafoe: 'I have a charmed life'". The Independent. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Schultz, Steve (January 8, 2010). "Willem Dafoe was fired from 'Heaven's Gate' cock fighting role". SFGate. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Maslin, Janet (January 20, 1984). "50s-Style 'Loveless'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Maslin, Janet (June 1, 1984). "Screen: 'Streets of Fire'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "Roadhouse 66 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (November 1, 1985). "To Live and Die in L.A. Movie Review (1985)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Kehr, Dave (December 30, 1986). "Reality Of `Platoon` Is Steeped In Surreality". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Morra, Louis (Spring 1987). "Willem Dafoe". Bomb (19).
- Romney, Jonathan (November 8, 1998). "Willem Dafoe". The Guardian. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Benson, Sheila (December 19, 1986). "Movie Review: 'Platoon': It's War At Ground Zero". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- "The 59th Academy Awards (1987) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved October 16, 2011.
- Howe, Desson (September 16, 1998). "'Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Maslin, Janet (March 11, 1988). "Review/Film; 'Off Limits,' a Thriller". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Dart, John (August 10, 1988). "Church Declares 'Last Temptation' Morally Offensive". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Maslin, Janet (August 12, 1988). "'Last Temptation,' Scorsese's View Of Jesus' Sacrifice". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Variety Staff (December 31, 1988). "Review: 'Mississippi Burning'". Variety. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Tunzelmann, Alex von (April 10, 2013). "Mississippi Burning: a civil rights story of good intentions and suspect politics". The Guardian. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- Svetkey, Benjamin (February 7, 2018). "Willem Dafoe: Oscar's Enigmatic Underdog Wants to "Disappear"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Travers, Peter (December 8, 1989). "Triumph of the Spirit". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Maslin, Janet (December 8, 1989). "The Camps As Not Often Seen". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Canby, Vincent (December 20, 1989). "How an All-American Boy Went to War and Lost His Faith". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Kempley, Rita (April 7, 1990). "'Cry-Baby'". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Gleiberman, Owen (August 17, 1990). "Wild at Heart". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- "The Flight of the Intruder (1991)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- McWeeny, Drew (June 19, 2011). "Saturday Night At The Movies: What exactly was 'Arrive Alive,' and what happened?". Uproxx. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Variety Staff (December 31, 1991). "White Sands". Variety. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (September 4, 1992). "Light Sleeper Movie Review & Film Summary (1992)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Gleiberman, Owen (August 28, 1992). "Light Sleeper". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Barber, Lynn (August 26, 2001). "Mild at heart". The Guardian. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Canby, Vincent (January 15, 1993). "Did She Use Her Body As a Murder Weapon?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Thomas, Kevin (December 21, 1993). "'Faraway, So Close': Wim Wenders' Spiritual Odyssey". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 8, 2018.
- Schwarzbaum, Liza (August 12, 1994). "Clear and Present Danger". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- James, Caryn (December 2, 1994). "The Dark Side of Genius and Its Supporting Cast". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Rooney, David (October 17, 1994). "The Night and the Moment". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Romney, Jonathan (November 8, 1998). "Willem Dafoe (I)". The Guardian. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Bonetti, David (August 16, 1996). "Basquiat' trivializes talented painter's life". SFGate. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Glass, Suzanne (March 9, 1997). "'I look like the bad guy... sort of violent'; interview: willem dafoe". The Independent. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- McCarthy, Todd (June 2, 1997). "Victory". Variety. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Romney, Jonathan (November 8, 1998). "Willem Dafoe (II)". The Guardian. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- "Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- "Stars up for a raspberry award bashing". BBC News. March 20, 1998. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (February 8, 1999). "Affliction". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Cooper, Tristan (July 1, 2014). "The 100 Greatest Simpsons Guest Stars". Paste. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
- Levy, Emanuel (May 14, 1998). "Lulu on the Bridge". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "New Rose Hotel (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- Stratton, David (September 14, 1998). "New Rose Hotel". Variety. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- Howe, Desson (April 23, 1999). "Heightened 'eXistenZ'". Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "The Boondock Saints (1999)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Koehler, Robert (January 20, 2000). "Boondock Saints". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (November 11, 2009). "The Boonddock II: All Saints Day". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Hoberman, J. (April 11, 2000). "Atrocity Exhibitions". The Village Voice. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Mitchell, Elvis (October 20, 2000). "Surviving The Lockup One Way Or Another". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (January 26, 2001). "Shadow of The Vamprie". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan (January 26, 2001). "Consider the Source". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on April 12, 2018. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- "The 73rd Academy Awards (2001) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved August 27, 2013.
- Scott, A.O. (May 4, 2001). "'Pavilion of Women'". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Young, Deborah (June 22, 2001). "Edges of the Lord". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Scaife, Steve (December 6, 2017). "Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin Was the Best Superhero Villain, Actually". Vice. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Mathews, Jack (May 3, 2002). "What A Wondrous Web They Weave". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Bradhsaw, Peter (June 14, 2002). "Spider-Man". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Scott, A.O. (May 3, 2002). "Muscles Ripple, Webs Unfurl, Hormones Race". The New York Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (October 25, 2002). "Auto Focus". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- McCarthy, Todd (May 26, 2003). "Film Review: Finding Nemo". Variety. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Pierce, Nev (October 4, 2003). "Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003)". BBC. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- "The Reckoning (2004)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Mirabella, Fran (February 17, 2004). "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing". IGN. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Travers, Peter (July 2, 2004). "The Clearing". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Otto, Jeff (June 25, 2004). "Spidey 2 Talk". IGN. Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
- Papamichael, Stella (February 25, 2005). "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2005)". BBC. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Lane, Anthony (January 17, 2005). "Go Fish". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Bal, Vijay A. (December 17, 2004). "Movie Review - The Aviator". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- McCarthy, Todd (October 27, 2004). "Final Cut: The Making And Unmaking Of 'Heaven's Gate'". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- "Control (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- O'Sullivan, Michael (April 29, 2005). "Ice Cube's Overblown 'XXX' Factor". Washington Post. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Nissim, Mayer (July 24, 2009). "Willem Dafoe: 'xXx had a great story'". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Stevens, Dana (January 27, 2006). "Back on the Plantation". Slate. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Young, Deborah (September 13, 2005). "Before It Had A Name". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Koehler, Robert (November 13, 2005). "Ripley Under Ground". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Travers, Peter (March 24, 2006). "Inside Man". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- James, Caryn (January 19, 2006). "Letting Us In on the Joke". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Nesselson, Lisa (May 16, 2006). "Paris je t'aime". Variety. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Bennett, Ray (March 26, 2007). "Mr. Bean's Holiday". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Webster, Andy (August 24, 2007). "Pratfalls in Every Language". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Dargis, Manohla (January 6, 2011). "A Bar Where Everybody Knows Your Pole Dance". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Honeycutt, Kirk (October 14, 2010). "Tales From Earthsea -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (December 13, 2007). "The Walker". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Schager, Nick (April 8, 2008). "Anamorph". Slant. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- "Fireflies in the Garden". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (October 12, 2011). "Fireflies in the Garden". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Dargis, Manohla (October 13, 2011). "A Hometown Visit, en Route to the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- Holden, Stephen (December 11, 2008). "Treated Like a Dog, in War and Madness". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- Brunette, Peter (February 12, 2009). "Film Review: The Dust of Time". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- "Antichrist (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Collett-White, Mike (May 17, 2009). "Lars von Trier film "Antichrist" shocks Cannes". Reuters. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- French, Phillip (July 26, 2009). "Antichrist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (19 May 2009). "Cannes #6: A devil's advocate for "Antichrist"" Archived April 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved on 19 July 2012.
- "Lars von Trier Finds Willem Dafoe's Penis Confusingly Large". The L Magazine. January 19, 2010. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
- Farber, Stephen (September 10, 2009). "Farewell -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Murray, Noel (October 10, 2009). "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Corliss, Richard (January 11, 2010). "Daybreakers: And Now, Junkie Vampires!". Time. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Edelstein, David (November 12, 2009). "The (Surprisingly) Real Feel of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'". NPR. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Waxman, Sharon (October 29, 2009). "'Boondock Saints" Troy Duffy: Grilled". TheWrap. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- "Third vampire role for Dafoe". Metro. May 28, 2008. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Itzkoff, Dave (October 21, 2009). "Eclectic Tastes, Distinctive Growl, Full Plate". The New York Times. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Barry, Colleen (September 9, 2010). "Willem Dafoe: 'A Woman' is pure, personal cinema'". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Macnab, Geoffrey (September 2, 2010). "Miral, Venice Film Festival". The Independent. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Jenkins, Mark (March 24, 2011). "'Miral': For Schnabel, A Muse Run Amok In Israel". NPR. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Sweney, Mark (May 10, 2010). "Willem Dafoe voices Birds Eye ad". The Guardian. United Kingdom.
- Cooper, Jackie K. (July 3, 2010). "Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World Is Definitely a Ric Burns Documentary". HuffPost. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Roark, David (March 24, 2012). "4:44 Last Day on Earth". Paste. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Holden, Stephen (April 5, 2012). "Stalking the Most Elusive Prey in Tasmania's Wilds". The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Murg, Stephanie (March 10, 2011). "Mullen Makes Mouths Water, Eyes Widen with Mesmerizing Yogurt Commercial". Mediabistro.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- Chapman, Mike (March 4, 2011). "Fage, 'Plain Extraordinary'". Adweek. Archived from the original on February 8, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- Gregrory, Sean (December 7, 2011). "The Top 10 Everything of 2011: Top 10 TV Ads". Time. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Youngs, Ian (July 7, 2011). "Marina Abramovic stages life and death". BBC News. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Dorment, Richard (July 11, 2011). "The Life and Death of Marina Abramovich, Manchester International Festival, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Taylor, Drew (June 5, 2012). "Willem Dafoe Still Baffled By Failure Of 'John Carter'; New Pixar Stamps Introduced". IndieWire. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Chmielewski, Dawn C. (March 20, 2012). "Disney expects $200-million loss on 'John Carter'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Schager, Nick (March 31, 2013). "Tomorrow You're Gone". Slant. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
- Taylor, Drew (February 28, 2014). "Review: 'Odd Thomas' Starring Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe And Addison Timlin". IndieWire. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- Morales, Aaron (October 8, 2013). "Video game review: Ellen Page elevates 'Beyond: Two Souls'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- "Beyond: Two Souls". Metacritic. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Travers, Peter (December 5, 2013). "Out of the Furnace". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- McCarthy, Todd (December 27, 2013). "Nymphomaniac: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "A Devilish Willem Dafoe Joins Kate Upton, Usher in Mercedes Super Bowl Ad".
- Spangler, Todd (June 20, 2013). "Kevin Spacey, Willem Dafoe Give Young Auteurs Whiskey Shots". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
- "A Most Wanted Man: the main characters". The Daily Telegraph. August 29, 2014. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Zhong, Fan (March 3, 2014). "The Grand Budapest Hotel". W. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Chang, Justin (April 11, 2018). "Film Review: 'Bad Country'". Variety. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- "The Jury of the 67th Festival de Cannes". Cannes. Archived from the original on September 7, 2016. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
- Shone, Tom (July 5, 2014). "The Fault in Our Stars: 'The swoony, drop-dead hit of the summer' – first-look review". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- Bradshaw, Peter (September 10, 2015). "Pasolini review – monument to a murdered film-maker". The Guardian. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Catsoulis, Jeannette (October 23, 2014). "Pet's Slaughter Uncorks a Latent Inner Assassin". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Lee, Ashley (October 14, 2014). "'John Wick': Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe Talk "Fantasy" Drifting and Gun Fu Stunts". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Travers, Peter (October 24, 2014). "John Wick". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 22, 2018.
- Perkins, Dennis (November 16, 2014). "The Simpsons: "Blazed and Confused"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Roshanian, Arya (July 18, 2016). "Héctor Babenco, Director of Oscar-Winning 'Kiss of the Spider Woman,' Dies at 70". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Debruge, Peter (May 20, 2016). "Cannes Film Review: 'Dog Eat Dog'". Variety. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Mallenbaum, Carly (June 20, 2016). "What happened to the 'Finding Nemo' Tank Gang?". USA Today. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Jaafar, Ali (September 12, 2015). "Willem Dafoe And Alfred Molina Join Voltage's 'The Headhunter's Calling'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Moshakis, Alex (August 16, 2016). "Why Loris Gréaud and Willem Dafoe made a film few will see". The Guardian. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Collin, Robbie (February 16, 2017). "The Great Wall, review: 'Watching it feels like repeatedly banging your head against one'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- Dornbush, Jonathan (February 3, 2016). "Super Bowl commercial: Willem Dafoe becomes Marilyn Monroe for Snickers". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Hornaday, Ann (October 11, 2017). "'The Florida Project': Willem Dafoe delivers his finest performance in recent". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
- Rubin, Rebecca (December 11, 2017). "Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
- "The Shape of Water leads Bafta nominations". BBC News. January 9, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Israel, Janine (June 13, 2017). "Mountain review: a sublime rush of adrenaline and orchestral beauty from the director of Sherpa". The Guardian. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- Busch, Anita (January 5, 2017). "Willem Dafoe Joins Ensemble Cast of Fox's 'Murder on the Orient Express'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
- "Willem Dafoe Joins Justice League Cast".
- Vejvoda, Jim; Collura, Scott (June 21, 2016). "Justice League: Willem Dafoe plays Aquaman character Vulko". IGN. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Keough, Peter (November 20, 2018). "At Eternity's Gate review". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
- O'Sullivan, Michael (November 20, 2018). "Willem Dafoe is an impassioned van Gogh in this fascinating yet frustrating biopic". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2019.
- Haring, Bruce (March 25, 2019). "'The Lighthouse' Wins Fipresci Critics Awards At Cannes Film Festival". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Gleiberman, Owen (May 19, 2019). "Film Review: 'The Lighthouse'". Variety. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- "Willem and Giada Dafoe". English-language website of Vogue Italia. March 4, 2010. Archived from the original on January 11, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- Spalding Gray (October 20, 2011). "Spalding Gray on Hollywood, Writing, and Willem Dafoe". Slate. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- "Willem Dafoe – Dafoe Trades Old Love For Young New Flame". Contactmusic.com. March 2, 2004. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
- Witcher, Rosamund (November 22, 2009). "What I know about women". The Guardian.
- "Willem Dafoe: 'Don't make this into a crackpot profile, please'". The Guardian. June 17, 2013.
- Croci, Roberto (January 2018). "Food Talks: Willem Dafoe, His Italian Family, Broccoli, Carciofi & Panzanella". Foodiamo.com. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
- Maher, Kevin (April 8, 2015). "Willem Dafoe on how to become a hardman at 60: juice, yoga and the school run". The Sunday Times. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- "Press Releases 68th Berlinale 2018: Homage and Honorary Golden Bear for Actor Willem Dafoe". Archived from the original on February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Willem Dafoe|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Willem Dafoe.|
- Willem Dafoe on IMDb
- Willem Dafoe at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Willem Dafoe at the TCM Movie Database
- Willem Dafoe at AllMovie
- Willem Dafoe Biography
- The Onion A.V. Club interview
- Oney, Steve (December 3, 1989). "FILM; Willem Dafoe, Looking for Characters With Possibility". The New York Times. p. 6.