Willem Dafoe in Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The (2004)
WILLEM DAFOE (Klaus Daimler) adds to a startling array of characters he has brought to life with the comical Klaus Daimler in THE LIFE AQUATIC with Steve Zissou. Dafoe has also recently completed work on “Manderlay,” the second installment of Lars von Trier’s “USA: Land of Opportunities” trilogy, joining an eclectic cast that includes Lauren Bacall, Jeremy Davies, Danny Glover, Udo Kier and Chloe Sevigny. Currently, Dafoe is shooting Revolution Studios’ sequel “XXX: State of the Union,” directed by Lee Tamahori.
Dafoe most recently starred with Robert Redford and Helen Mirren in the thriller “The Clearing” and as the leader of the troupe of thespians who discover a murder in Paul McGuigan’s “The Reckoning” starring with Paul Bettany. He also makes a cameo appearance in Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic, “The Aviator.” His other recent films include Tim Hunter’s “Control,” opposite Ray Liotta; Roger Spottiswoode’s “Mr. Ripley’s Return”; voicing the character of Gill, the fearless leader of the fish tank, in the animated blockbuster “Finding Nemo”; Robert Rodriguez’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” with Johnny Depp and Antonio Banderas, and Paul Schrader’s daring “Auto Focus” with Greg Kinnear. In the summer of 2002, he starred in Sam Raimi’s record-breaking “Spider-Man” as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, rival to the iconic web-spinning hero, played by Tobey Maguire.
In 2001, Dafoe was nominated for Academy®, Golden Globe® and SAG Awards and received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actor for his transformational performance as Max Shreck in “Shadow of the Vampire.” He was also named Best Supporting Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics and runner-up by the New York Film Critics. Dafoe’s portrayal also received critical acclaim at the Cannes, Telluride, Toronto and Boston Film Festivals.
Dafoe has made a name for himself working with some of the most critically acclaimed directors in the world: with his turn as ‘Caravaggio’ the thumb-less thief in Anthony Minghella’s Academy Award®-winning “The English Patient,” his Academy Award®- nominated performance as ‘Sergeant Elias’ in Oliver Stone’s “Platoon,” his starring role in Martin Scorcese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” his memorable turn as low life ‘Bobby Peru’ in David Lynch’s “Wild at Heart,” his performance in Wim Wender’s multicultural “Far Away, So Close” and his role as a civil rights activist in Alan Parker’s “Mississippi Burning.”
His other feature credits include Mary Harron’s “American Psycho,” Troy Duffy’s “Boondock Saints,” Steve Buscemi’s “Animal Factory,” Yim Ho’s “Pavillion of Women,” Yurek Bogayevicz’s “The Edges of the Lord,” David Cronenburg’s “Existenz,” novelist Paul Auster’s directorial debut, “Lulu on the Bridge,” Abel Ferrara’s “New Rose Hotel,” Jan De Bont’s “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” Brian Gilbert’s “Tom & Viv,” Phillip Noyce’s “Clear and Present Danger,” Paul Schrader’s “Affliction” and “Light Sleeper,” Oliver Stone’s “Born on the Fourth of July,” William Friedkin’s “To Live and Die in L.A.,” Robert M. Young’s “Triumph of the Spirit,” Roger Donaldson’s “White Sands,” Uli Edel’s “Body of Evidence” and Christopher Crowe’s “Off Limits.”
On stage for the Wooster Group, Dafoe most recently starred Off-Broadway in “Brace Up”; and throughout Europe, the U.S. and Off-Broadway in “To You, The Birdie!” with Frances McDormand. He also costarred with Steve Buscemi in the October 2001 premiere of “North Atlantic.” Dafoe has been a member of the groundbreaking theater company for more than twenty years, helping to define a theatrical language that incorporates influences as diverse as vaudeville and Noh.