Willem Dafoe Says Money & Fame Is Not His Priority: ”Live in the Moment” – NewsEverything Movies

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Willem Dafoe Says Money & Fame Is Not His Priority: ”Live in the Moment” – NewsEverything Movies
Willem Dafoe Says Money & Fame Is Not His Priority: ”Live in the Moment” – NewsEverything Movies

Willem Dafoe has always been a fan-favorite professional who fell into his roles. However, in the second spring of his career, Dafoe swept through European film festivals with roles that push the boundaries in indie, director-driven pictures like At Eternity’s Gate, a biographical drama about the final years of painter Vincent van Gogh’s life or The Lighthouse.

The 4-time Oscar-nominated actor will portray another original character, the art thief Nemo in Vasilis Katsoupis’ psychological drama, Inside. Dafoe is trapped in a New York penthouse after his heist doesn’t go as planned. Locked inside with nothing but priceless works of art, he must use all his cunning and invention to survive.


Besides his roles in auteur films such as Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, The French Dispatch from Wes Anderson, and The Northman, Dafoe has become a blockbuster figure thanks to the Aquaman and Spider-Man franchises. The 67-year-old has over ten upcoming projects, including Robert Egger’s Nosferatu, and the money isn’t the main reason behind Dafoe’s desire to work. He told the IndieWire.

”Money is a consideration, certainly, but it’s not why you do the work. The reason you consider it is that it often tells you what people’s intentions are and what they value. It’s a tip-off. When you work like I do, I’m going to be okay, but I’ve never been solely motivated by money. I’ve never taken a job only for that. It’s just a fact. It’s not because I’m this moral guy or have this purity. It just doesn’t make sense. Good work breeds good work and opportunities. You try to do the best work and sometimes the best-paying jobs aren’t the best work. Sometimes the poor-paying jobs are.”

Related: Exclusive: Inside Director Vasilis Katsoupis on His Artful Willem Dafoe Thriller

‘Live in the Moment’

Willem Dafoe looks at art in the movie Inside 2023
Focus Features

There are things that the audience can learn from the advice that the long-time actor gives to other colleagues. Dafoe said no one should get stuck in the perception of the origin or backstory narratives.

”In this movie (Inside), it wasn’t important who this character was before the film starts. You just know he’s an art thief, he enters the building, and he gets stuck there. He’s revealed through the doing , as all characters are, through the things that he chooses to do or not do.”

He said that even though people only know him from Spider-Man or Aquaman, the most important thing is the work he has done and will do, ”There are also people that only know me from smaller movies. It’s not my business; my business is to make the work.” he said. He stated that what matters is the quality of the project, not its visibility.

Inside had its world premiere at the 2023 Berlin Film Festival. It was released in theaters on Mar. 17.


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